Once a year, whether you live in the northern or southern hemisphere, the earth’s spinning axis tilts towards the sun. This has a profound impact: days get longer and temperatures rise. Just about every eco-system on the planet responds to this. Just as life has evolved to use water, so has it evolved to use sunrays. It’s Spring Time! And every year this seems to elicit a population-wide increase in happiness levels.
For most snowboarders, closing chair lifts are the signal to put boards back into their summer hibernation, while mountain bikes, chalk bags and surfboards leap into action. For a few of us however, it’s also a time when Mother Nature allows us to explore the biggest wilderness lines of our lives. The occasional spring powder dump can bring Alaska-style riding weeks into May. The snowpack is at its apex, and by June the night-time hardpack is softened by the afternoon solar rays into perfect, stable, and rippable steep corn.
What is most amazing about this time is that it offers windows to explore mountain environments that are often too extreme to even contemplate. One can view the awesome destructive power of avalanches that that would level a city block. For a few of us snowboarders, our splitboards offer us the chance to let these places do their number on us. Spring backcountry travel is so much more than snowboarding, it’s a chance for personal growth.
Where are you riding this spring? Grab your splitboard and explore.
Get out, and enjoy it safely!