08 March 2013

Done Sprung

Oh, it's spring alright. Other than a series of stupidly cold and subsequently dry weeks in January I'm not totally sure when and if winter ever started. In addition to a sprinkle here and there that was immediately blown into oblivion, what remains is still the same three feet of snow that dropped sometime late December and early January. That's okay; this is what you might call a "transitional period" in every sense and context imaginable. Just imagine.

Imagine digging your truck out after collapsing through a wind-buffed crust and spinning on ice on a dirt road on which you never should have considered driving. Imagine immaculate silence once you soaked your clothing and parked the truck safely and turned off the engine. Imagine bending a corner and scaring ancient gangly desert moose from their Quaking Aspen hiding. Imagine wandering into a snowy high desert landscape with nowhere to go. Imagine another day in the sun and the post-winter non-winter blues fade as quick as they come.


Goal #1: Find snow. Obvious maybe but in this year of winds blowing cold and fast and non-stop straight down from the top of the planet it is better to leave nothing assumed. Anyway, lava rock makes for good hiking.

Rule #1: Once through the lava rock, find a ridgeline and run with it as far and as high as it will take you. It might be the last of the dependable snow for some time.

Rule #2: Once on top search fast for your options because the snow conditions might be a totally different state of miserable by the time you make it over that way.

The higher and farther you move the options expand. Hidden canyons appear out of nowhere, tight gullies open into saddles and passes that connect to other systems of passes, gullies, and canyons. Maps, then, are meaningless as representations of expansiveness and endless silent contours. Soon enough it feels like your own private Alaska. Not Alaska, though, Idaho, and your own private statement to the weird weather of 2013.

Rule #3: Variable snow conditions can be fun, too. This is a little more dependent on equipment and your ability to fly rather than sink.

Variable means variable, as in exhibiting great inconsistencies from one rounded curve to the next.

Goal #2: Fly, don't sink.

A strange winter and I'm a little doubtful of the spring. The quest will continue, though the quest for what I'm not sure. Good snow? Higher mountains? Finding art in the everyday? Silence in the noise? Truth in winter?

On the long haul home I was introduced to the phrase, "rendered truth." I like that phrase.


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