It’s starting. You know what it is. I’ve already warned Jess about it. Yup, it’s fall which officially makes it the “obsess over all aspects of weather, every possible chance of a snowflake falling on any mountain in any region of the continental US, last minute scope out of backcountry spots, get out, dust, tune and dial in the setup” season. It basically gets to the point that if I can’t check my weather sites on a daily basis, I freak out like this guy:
It’s especially apparent that this season is upon us when images like these start rolling in:
Snow on Pikes Peak as of 14 September
This is one of those events that tends to set a few things in motion.
- First is that winter conditioning program starts to ramp up. (More on this in another post) It happens to fit nicely with the Whole Life Challenge that Jess and I are starting on Saturday
- A 2012-13 winter goals discussion gets started. (More in a future post)
- And, tough decisions have to be made regarding the logistics of winter activities
What logistics? You might ask. Well, the logistics of big trips to take, when, where, how long and the logistics of whether or not to get a Season Pass and if so, where. I know, tough life, having to make these crucial life or death decisions.
It basically comes down to this. Our main focus for this year is to safely spend most of our snow days in the backcountry. With this as our ultimate goal, I initially considered not getting a pass at all especially since last year we got Epic Local passes and it turned out to be a bust. To figure out what to do I did what any 21st century man would do: take it to the forums. So I asked the fine folks over at splitboard.com and was surprised by the responses I got.
Expected to be ridiculed by hardcore/purist backcountry splitboarders on even considering the idea of a pass to a resort (said with lots of disdain btw), I found that a lot of the folks were really supportive of the idea. Shredgnar immediately threw it out there.
“Riding backcountry all the time makes you rusty, some will disagree but for the way I want to ride it does. Plus it’s nice to bang out a few laps before work or when you are too hung over/tired to skin. Plus, if it’s anything like last season (god I hope not) it’s hard to find good backcountry riding all the time.”
While several folks disagreed with the concept of not riding resort makes you rusty, the overall vibe was that having a pass (especially if its cheap enough) was a good compliment to backcountry objectives. Summing it all up it seemed to be
- Downhill riding skills stay fresh
- “Nothing like a lift accessed powder day”
- Good for those high avy danger days
- Good for early season before the backcountry opens up
- Good for days when you don’t have a partner to go into the backcountry with
- Hard not to consider lift access up stuff like this:
- Having a pass makes some less motivated to go backcountry
- Have to deal with resort crowds & traffic (+1)
- You actually have to pay for the thing which takes away from $ used on gear
So there is the debate, still trying to iron out the final decision here… tough life, I know.