Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Winter excuses

I don't get out to the backcountry much in the winter. I have several excuses but many of them are just rationalizing staying home. Some excuses are good, high avalanche danger or roads that aren't open or safe occur fairly often.

November through February, give or take a couple of weeks in either direction, in the Seattle area is damp, dark, and generally dreary. There is snow in the local mountains but it is often wet and heavy, not good for either x-country skiing or snowshoeing. I don't really enjoy hiking in the rain, especially in temperatures just above freezing in wet snow. And on good days, weekend or holiday days with fresh new snow or sunshine, the accessable areas are full of people early in the day. Several times I've been the first up, breaking a ski trail. Coming down, I'm unable to use my ski tracks because there are so many people using them to walk, ski, snowshoe or sled.

I am disappointed in myself that I haven't been out since the end of November. It isn't that I need different gear but that I need more motivation. I enjoy being out and it is good for me but I don't expect to do any snowshoing or skiing this winter.

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