I have been on a few trips since the last time I have written. I also had to put down my dog of 10 years (Durango). I had a lot of time to think about life/death and other grand ideas since then., and I will start with the idea of following your own goals. I read somewhere that true success is defined by failing in the ways that you wish to fail. I think this is a very apt saying for the mountaineering world. A world which is defined much more by how we deal with failures than how we deal with successes.
The next thought I would like to speak about is a frustration I have been having recently. This Frustration seems most potent in the blinding and misleading of ideas, thoughts and emotions. I do not wish to envy anyone of their possessions, as this will lead to becoming one who values possessions above all else. However I do get frustrated and angry when I feel that people with money are looking down on me for not having money. Being excluded from opportunity because of lack of money is an extreme example of this. However the social pressure and disappointment of friends and family that causes a lessened self esteem is quite harmful, and very easily missed in this society. We do not speak about this very often, not to mention consciously acknowledge this and make an effort to avoid it. This has taken me quite some time to realize. It usually sits just below the conscious level. This particular social norm is harmful to me as it stems from jealousy, a disappointment in self for something I cannot control and inevitably anger from a loss of dignity. Since this realization I have been trying very hard to surround myself with people that do not create this feeling no matter the amount of possession they have. I have also been trying to treat others with less than myself with the same dignity. If I ever treat you with less dignity please remind me of these words.
In regards to the religious experiences I refer to in the title of this post. I took a trip up to the Holy Cross Wilderness. I wanted to ski the Holy Cross Couloir. However, I failed. I had to make 9 miles minimum the first day to have a chance of accomplishing this goal. I am lucky that I was solo on this trip because I did not hinder anyone. I bonked. I made it 7 miles on the correct timeline and fell down exhausted. After several minuets with head in hands furious my body would not take me any further I realized something. It was not until I had sat, eaten, written in my journal and warmed myself in the evening sun, that I started to realize how truly successful this trip was. I was in the heart of the wilderness alone a large mental accomplishment anytime; and I was set up to ski the ridge of notch mountain the next day. I had coffee for the morning a good place to sleep, the weather was perfect, and my weekend had only begun. To me snowboarding has always been just as much about exploration as adrenaline fueled fun. It is in moments like this that I remember why I snowboard.
I have included a trip report below from what I remember. The most important point to take away from this trip however is that I failed in a manner of which I wished to fail.
The first day was spent driving up to the lot, and hiking in along the road. This was the first time I have taken hiking shoe on a spring trip. I usually hike in by snowboard boots. Holy crap was this a revelation the 2-lbs extra weight is worth its a million times over. So happy not to be in boots!!
Along the road I found a few cool spring phenomena to take pictures of.
Once I reached the pass 7 miles out I crashed and could go no further. I set up camp around 3pm and watched the sun set near 12,000 feet. There was a foot of fresh snow that had not rotted just yet.
Once I awoke, I could not get out of bed until like a lighting bolt I remembered. I HAVE COFFEE! I jumped up and out of bed as if there was a snake in my boot.
The plan had been formed the night before, and I was happy to have a backup plan with as much skiing as there was. It is a good point to make here that one indispensable skill is the ability to make plan changes on the fly with little to no outside information. This can be the difference between maximizing the trip or maximizing misconceptions.
At noon I started hiking what I guessed to be 1 mile and 1500 vertical feet up the north face of notch mountain. The shark teeth were out in form today. Better be careful on the way down.
Prior to this trip I discussed the possibility of of wind loading. This was a accurate assessment. There was wind loading. It took a lot of control not to ski the steep and deep. On top of the ridge I looked up and as if hit by a 2×4 I was struck by the Mount of The Holy Cross.
Riding down was awesome!! Pow turns in April are awesome!Back at camp I had a little time to screw around with the camera, and pack up.
Walking out I realized how important it is to have trim your toenails. My feet were killing me. If anyone knows a good snowboard mountaineering boot that will also work well for long distance travel I am all ears.
At 5 pm I got back to old red and drove back down from the beautiful hills to the nonstop noise of the city. Too bad i couldn’t stay.