PNW Micro adventures: Summer Skiing

Yesterday wasn’t your typical summers day adventure. In fact, it didn’t feel much like summer at all – Our objective wasn’t to swim in a lake or play in the sun, it was to ski in August!

We loaded up the truck and headed into the backcountry with low expectations for good turns and very full packs.

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We started up the Brandywine meadows trail around 10:30 am. The meadows were quiet and you could just hear the soft gurgles of the creek along the trail.

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The wild flowers were gorgeously in bloom and a cool, almost fall like breeze, was kissing our cheeks as we headed for the mountains.

Hiking with skis mid-summer was definitely greeted with strange looks by passing hikers. We felt pretty silly but also a tad bit badass…

We started up the scramble towards Brandywine peak and a low hanging cloud danced its way around us. Giving and taking away the views as we worked our way up the steep climb.

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Winter has always been my season. I’m not much for tan lines and days spent fighting with dehydration. I’d rather have a cozy fleece, warm pair of ski boots and snow softly falling on my nose. Getting up to the snow was a long hall, when we got to the first ridge we took in the views and felt the feelings of an incoming storm. Dark clouds, almost ominous, circled around our view.

We found one of the longer patches of skiable snow just before the summit. Getting down to it required some creative down climbing on very chossy rock.

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I took the first run and found that the snow was slushy and inviting but wanted to throw you around a bit! Pearce followed and we continued our way down the mountain on our little snow patch.

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We spent most of the day shaking our heads at the idea of exerting that much energy up just for a 5 minute run. We laughed and accepted the sufferfest for what it was – a day hiking with our skis. But it wasn’t about the skiing anyway, it was about spending time together in the mountains doing what we love: adventuring.

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It is possible to ski every month of the year if you work hard enough for it. I would do it again in a heart beat just for the memories and time spent in the backcountry with good company.

Here’s to winter 2017/18 which is already on it’s way!

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