DAY ONE: SEPTEMBER 27, 2017

I woke up full of excitement. New snow had fallen earlier in the month, so with a day off from work, I gathered my gear and drove up to the mountain, full of excitement and anticipation. 

Once I parked the car at the bottom of the prairie t-bar, all that remained was to get my gear out of the back of the car, sling my A-framed skis and boots on my back and start the long hike up. As I made my way through the treeline and across the prairie I could see the patches of old snow above Crater Lake I was aiming for. The snow acted like a magnet, pulling me up the mountain.

I began backcountry skiing on a regular basis on November 1, 2014. Since then, I’ve made turns 32 out of the last 34 months, and the last 24 consecutive months. So as I continued my hike up to make some turns, the thought of not making it 33 out of 35 and 25 consecutive kept me motivated. It was also fun to watch my little dog Susie run, play, sniff and explore as we slowly made our way up. Her joy at being outside really made me smile.

After about an hour and a half, I stopped on the side of the crater for a few moments to rest, refuel and reflect. I find a great deal of satisfaction in taking these moments to just sit and enjoy my surroundings. I have a difficult time dealing with stress on a day-to-day basis, but when I’m out in nature, having an adventure, all that stress disappears.

The physical exercise, the opportunity to make photographs, the thrill of skiing…all these things combine to help take my mind off of the challenges I face, and refocuses me on what’s really important in life:

  • determination
  • a sense of accomplishment
  • encouraging others to get out and have an adventure 
  • highlighting the natural beauty all around us

TRIP DETAILS:

  • Elevation Gain: 1681 ft.
  • Distance Traveled: 6.76km (round trip)
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