Remember this post? My first blog-rant about winter, plus the bonus John Denver video? That just happened to be published the same day I left for a backcountry ski vacation. Coincidence? Perhaps. More than likely though I was just stoked about all of the snow we were getting….therefore all of the powder I would be skiing. Or as John would say, I was “Dancing with the Mountains.” (Please tell me you watched that?!) Classic.
And dance we did. This winter has been phenomenal. Incredible. Snowtastic. Yes I just said that. And the backcountry? Glorious. Absolutely amazing.
This was our second vacation to YurtSki….a backcountry adventure in the Swan Mountains of Montana. A lot of people don’t understand this type of vacation. I can relate…it’s different. It’s not your typical ski vacation with cushy condos, fancy lodges, chairlifts and over-priced tickets (don’t get me wrong, there’s definitely room for those kind of vacations in my winter). Instead, you haul all of your gear in 11 miles yourself, share a 20 ft diameter one-room yurt with 6-8 people of what better be your closest friends (a yurt, that as hard as you try, will not be clean and/or organized), build your own fires for heat, use an outhouse (with no door), cook your own food (that you hauled in), and earn each and every one of your turns. There are no chairlifts. This is no resort. It’s basically a building that’s strategically placed next to a huge skiable mountain. Enter at your own risk. And FYI….any joker can rent this thing. But common sense is not included in the price of the yurt. You better know what you’re doing.
I don’t really have a funny story or anything to go with this adventure. Hard to believe I’m sure. What I do have are some amazing pictures that I want to share. Because there’s something about being out “there” where only a handful of people have been that is truly amazing. The feeling you get when you’re miles and miles into the woods and you’ve worked so hard to get to the top of the mountain, and the sun is just coming out letting you see for miles. It’s pretty much indescribable. And then you get to ski down through some of the best snow you’ve seen all season? Well…it just pretty much makes you feel lucky to be alive. That probably sounds corny and perhaps it’s the two glasses of wine that I’ve had while I’m writing this. But ironically, when you’re standing on top of that ridge it feels somewhat grounding….like all of the things you’ve been stressing about all week aren’t worth the worry. If I could bottle that feeling I would be a wealthy woman. Since I can’t, I’ve come to the conclusion that outings like this need to be a regular occurence so I’m reminded that life can be beautiful and simple. It doesn’t take a heckuva-lot of money to escape from reality for a few days. These things that we worry ourselves with (squeezing one more thing into the day, hurrying here, hurrying there….and for Gods sake work)? They are all pressures we put on ourselves. And for what? All that really matters is that we’re happy, we’re healthy, we’re pursuing activities that we love and we are surrounding ourselves with good people. Yep. Got all that from working my ass off while skinning up a mountain. I’m kind of digging it.
So this post, I’m going to let my pictures do the talking for once.
So there you have it. A small compilation of what is probably around 500 pictures we all took.
And now for a special little treat for those of you that hung in there…turns out even my pictures are wordy. A little video of yours truly skiing. I know, I know. I’ve come a long way in the past 3 months (where I couldn’t be found in any of my pics). What’s even better about this little treat? I totally eat it. Yep. And I’m showing it to you! Forget the fact that I would rather show you a video of me totally ripping it up….and forget the fact that it really, really sucks to fall when you’ve worked so hard for your turns. But what the hell. I love you guys. So enjoy…
Please notice all of my friends laughing at me. Thanks guys.
I think I’ll end on that note.
See you next year YurtSki.