Why I did it and Where it Took Me
I skied 50 consecutive months in hopes of getting out of my comfort zone, making new connections, and learning new skills. I was challenged, mentally, physically and emotionally. The end results were much more tangible and life changing than I ever could have imagined.
This goal took me to places I never thought I would be; I skied couloirs and off the summit of mountains over 14,000 ft. I started rock and ice climbing. I used crampons and an axe to ascend a glacier that I would ski down. I attended avalanche safety and educational courses with Backcountry Babes and Irwin Guides. Near the end of my goal, I moved 5 hours away to the cutest ski town!
Each experience was an opportunity to learn, to grow, and make connections. I did have some solo missions, but what made many of these mountain adventures memorable were the people I experienced them with and all the crazy fun we had. My monthly ski list included friends I met through Feral Mountain Company, hut trips, avalanche courses, meet ups and even looking for the bathroom at the Annual CAIC Benefit Bash. I was lucky enough to attend events like ski prom, Cinco Decathlon and friendsgiving high on a mountain inside a warming hut. Skiing year-round opened me up to a whole new world of people and ski possibilities.
During this time I also faced a number of challenges on and off the mountain - finding partners wasn’t always easy, the weather/conditions weren’t predictable, and I lost a dear friend in an avalanche. Falling down, literally, was a part of the process, but so was getting up and carrying on. There were times I knew the consequences of falling could be serious and even deadly. In those moments I slowed down, I noticed my breath and focused on the task ahead of me - one step at a time, one turn at a time, or on a few occasions, one swing of the axe at a time.
Now that I’ve had some time to reflect on my goal, my main takeaways are this: I met some of my dearest friends because of this goal and that is priceless; staying healthy made achieving this goal possible and that required a lot of training and also rest; having the right gear and education can be the difference between life and death; and sometimes what seems like a silly ski goal could turn out to be a life changer!