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Goodbye Old Man Winter

Adam and I are celebrating – celebrating the beginning of February, which means that the worst of winter is behind us (hopefully). This winter in the van has been particularly challenging. From enduring the biting cold of 10 degree nights in Bishop, to a week straight of snow and rain in Red Rock, to a weekend of 50 mph winds and flooding in Joshua Tree, we just couldn’t seem to escape the frosty clutch of winter. Ice covered windshields and snow covered landscapes followed us from one desert to the next. Every day tasks -cooking, getting dressed, going to the bathroom – were a struggle. I wore the same pair of long johns under all my layers for over a week because it was solely too cold to even consider exposing my bare skin to the raw air. The constant cold numbed us. My motivation to climb dwindled. My motivation to run disappeared. I found no pleasure being outside. I simply wanted to feel warm again.

And then, the other morning, Adam and I woke up to sun! Not the cold, dull sun of winter, but the bright, euphoric sun of spring. For the first time this season, as I turned my face towards the sky and closed my eyes, I felt warmth. I felt awakened from the winter funk that had set deep within my body – like a bear waking from hibernation. The world seemed vibrant again. My mind swirled with thoughts, as if I was finally digesting everything I had experienced in the last two months. Energy abounded. I craved the outdoors again – climbing, running, setting goals and working to attain them. And, like any good adventurer, the memories of the discomfort will quickly fade into stoke for tomorrow’s climb.

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2 Comments

  1. Winter dirtbagging sucks, but winter itself is fun if you branch out a bit. Pick up a cheap pair of XC skis to replace your running shoes; demo some gear and go ice climbing. Or you can just go to Cochise, where it never gets that cold.

    Of course, winter seems suddenly to be over for the year. Even up here in the southern Rockies it’s t-shirt weather, and all of our nice snowpack is melting far too soon. 😦

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    • You’re definitely right – I definitely don’t want to wish winter/snow away! We just need to make a few changes to be better equipped to handle them. And I’m super stoked that we are hoping to spend time next winter XC skiing in Yosemite and the rest of the Sierras!

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