Almost spring... but not just yet.

The smell of spring always invigorates the warm weather itch in me.  An itch that feels so good to scratch.  My wife, Christine, has the itch so bad that she may break out into a rash soon.  It is a bit different for her though because mountain biking in spring air symbolizes the end of another "All-In" audit season.  For myself, spring is also a huge relief for my body and mind.  My body is beaten and tattered like my jacket by this time, and my mind starts to become more fried then my egg sandwich in the morning.  Constant consequential decision-making in the backcountry and over doses of adrenaline start to wear out the mind.  However, the good news is that one good day of putting down the cameras and two-way radios is all I need to remember why I love this all so much.  A jaded perspective... yes, but I know it and I fight it in order to stay in a appreciative state of mind.  No matter how much I try to stay out of the box, sometimes, I get sucked in.  I have found that all it takes is a day like the one I am about to share with you to get me out of that damn box, and back into a place of humble appreciation and zest for this lifestyle. 

^A lot of good days start out just like this, and this day was no exception.  Ben Geiger is pictured here on the first few steps of our first skin ascent of the day.  We thought that the south face that he is looking at was going to get hot early.  We were very wrong, and later that day that slope would prove to be oh so right. 

^As a result of our early ideas about the heating we opted to start out a bit more mellow, and on more of a northeast pitch catching some spring half light.  Good call.  No cameras, no radios, no hassles.  Pure environment and moment.  The perfect prescription for the jaded lenses.  

^ The first lap went so well that we looped around to another Northeasterly slope and tacked on another 500 vertical feet as well.  Once again, we reaped the benefits.  A good friend and some good lines can put me into the right place.  Ben took the "Y Chute" on the looker's right.  I mobbeb "Keith Brown" to the looker's left of him.  The line goes through the rocks and the super skinny little chute that dumps out just above the trees where I hung it looker's left into the next pitch over.  Aaahhhh Yeeesssss!!! 

^Our attitudes were ripe with reward, and we decided to keep it rolling for one more lap.  We threw on our skins and got after another bowl.  We left ourselves with options to ski a zone that would go southeast or northeast depending on how we felt about the heating of the day.    

^We approached the southeast face first, and it was just not heating up.  We gave it everything we had to try to get the wet dragons to show themselves.  They would not come out.  Therefore, we got after it.  As you can see, it held up.  Ben and I had ourselves one hell of a finale.  We toyed around with the idea of going for one more, but we decided that our day had been truly blessed with stellar turns in three huge bowls.  I was in need of some relief, and mother nature had provided.  We left the day at fabulous and skied out.

^ I was feeling so reenergized and grateful that I felt it necessary to share it with Murphy.  I took her out for a lap in the cross-country trails and got her a good run in the spring time sun.  Bluebird skies and puppy smiles topped off the afternoon that put the heart and soul back in my season.  I am back where I am supposed to be, where I belong.  Life is good, don't forget it.