Waking into Winter

Waking into Winter:Living at 9600 feet near the Continental Divide in Breckenridge, CO, snow in September is far from a novelty.  As a professional skier and backcountry educator, one could assume I would be skiing as soon as the first flurries hit the ground.  Skiing has been my passion for over 30 years.  Although the past couple early seasons, I found I wasn’t skiing as much as “I thought I should”.

Every November and December, I slip into hibernation mode.  My body and mind energetically align with the pagan seasonal calendar as daylight wanes.   The wood-burning stove in our 19th century cabin warms the December chill as my body slowly adjusts to the drop in temperature. I dream of surfing in warm, sunny Mexico.  Busy as squirrel, I prepare for the upcoming holiday season, dial in my gear and put my ducks in a row for the Babes in the Backcountry winter workshops.  At home, I stack abundant cords of pine beetle kill for firewood, store the garden tools and gather my resources for approaching 6 months of winter.

My early season rthyms do not resonate with the hustle and bustle of a ski town preparing for as busy season. Thankfully, coinciding with the Winter Solstice on December 21st, the return of the light (i.e. longer days).  I emerge  from my shell. Alive again, my body and soul now drawn to the snow covered peaks. The longer days evoke a new vibrancy in my attitude.  Energized, I am ready to conquer the world.  Armed with a ski pass and a couple of Telemark (PSIA) and Avalanche (AIARE) professional development courses, I begin once more to explore the snow covered mountains and implement the new information from the refresher courses.

For those of  you who have had similar experiences,  congratulations. You have made it through the darkness. Wave goodbye to the old and in with the new. 2010 is a year of “doing” rather than “to dos”.  In this new decade…make things happen while remaining calm, focused and balanced.  Fine tune your “to do” list and then get after it. Let things go that aren’t serving you.  Be gentle with yourself and others. Enjoy times with friends and family. Keep your eyes open, have fun and get out and play in the snow.

P.S.  Last night Breckenridge was finally blessed with 8″ of light Rocky Mountain Powder.  I hit save draft,  closed down the computer and strapped on my G3 Zests for a fabulous powder day.”

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