Everything We Hate About Ski Touring—And Why We’ll Never Stop


This story originally appeared in the January 2020 (48.4) issue of POWDER.

7:40 a.m.
I should still be in bed. It’s so cold, I can’t feel my face. Can your organs get frostbite? Did I pack enough layers or enough snacks? Should I take out this extra puffy so I can carry more water? Isn’t beer mostly water?

8:15 a.m.
Okay, here we go! Look at us—up with the sun like a bunch of elite athletes using our bodies in the mountains. We are such good stewards of the earth! Why don’t we do this every morning? We are so fit!

8:23 a.m.
Oh, that’s right, I live at sea level. I can’t breathe. Can you please slow down? I feel like hot garbage.

8:40 a.m.
If I laid down right now, how long would it take me to freeze and die and put an end to this misery? No it’s fine, don’t wait for me, I’m fine.

9:01 a.m.
I’m so hot my nostrils are sweating. My organs are boiling inside my body. How many layers can I take off? There’s so much sweat. My hair is so wet it looks like I just got out of the shower… though I sure don’t smell like it.

9:20 a.m.
You’re telling me human-powered snowsports are the fastest growing segment of winter recreation? Seven million people explored the backcountry last season? You people are sick.

9:33 a.m.
You know what I love? Chair lifts. I don’t even care that a window ticket at Vail is $209 this season. Take my money. I don’t wanna walk anymore!

9:45 a.m.
Did you say that’s the summit? We’re almost there? Oh, wow! That wasn’t so bad. I could do this again. In fact, I could keep going for miles.

9:49 a.m.
I should do a ski-mo race this winter. Like, could I go to the Olympics? Probably. I think I’ll at least start training for a marathon. I’m definitely going to the gym later.

9:57 a.m.
Whew! The summit! Transition time! I have arrived on the wings of my own greatness. I am strong. I am a force. I am Beyoncé! I am a graceful gazelle in the wilderness. No mountain will conquer me.

10:12 a.m.
I’m so glad I brought this extra beer instead of that extra layer because I deserve this. Look how relaxed and in my element I am. Like I said this morning. I am an athlete.

10:15 a.m.
Wait, we’re going down? Oh, right. That’s why we came. Let’s ski.

12:30 p.m.
Same time next week?

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