The List: 5 Reasons to Celebrate Spring

Yes, this winter sucked. No snow anywhere, and when it did snow, it built disastrous avie conditions in the backcountry. But it’s almost over. Forget about not getting your money’s worth on your ski pass, forget about canceling your dream ski trip, and let’s prepare to move on. Because spring is awesome.

1. The Desert

If you climb boulders, Hueco, Bishop, Joe’s Valley, and every other place is now pleasant during the day, and tolerable at night, allowing you to stay out of your sleeping bag and actually drink a couple beers by the campfire instead of going to bed one hour after sunset because you’re freezing. If you mountain bike, you are thinking about Moab, Fruita, Slickrock. Cragging at Indian Creek. Hiking in the Grand Canyon. Backpacking in Canyonlands, canyoneering in the San Rafael Swell and Zion. Basically, the entire red-rock half of Utah is opening its arms to you right now. And some other places in some other deserts.

2. Longer days
Did you remember to set your clock ahead an hour? It is a scientific fact that it’s light out later in the evening, making time for your after- work bike ride, run, or bouldering session. Take a day this week, go into work a half-hour early, leave a half-hour early, and lace up your shoes, click into your pedals, or chalk up and tick off a couple laps on your favorite traverse problem. See? That’s nice, isn’t it?

3. Snowpack consolidation

This was not a good year for avalanches, almost across the board. Springtime brings consolidation, which means safer conditions in couloirs – both for those of us who like to climb them, and those of you badasses who like to ski them. Spring corn. Skinning uphill in a t-shirt, skiing down in a soft shell.

4. Biking to work
As a friend of mine says, “On a bike, you always have windchill.” Spring is no frozen feet, no beanie-underneath-your-helmet, fewer wet streets, less black ice, no gloves, fewer days ending with your bike dripping black slop all over when you get it home. Less frozen snot, fewer tears streaking backwards across your temples in the cold wind, less time spent making tough faces on your bike, more time smiling.

5. Exposed Flesh
We don’t always need to explain why items on the list are awesome.

Photo by Shutterstock.

{ 4 comments…read them below or write one }

  • Alpentalic

    This winter sucked? Maybe for you, I was getting fresh side country lines at a packed Crystal Mountain last Saturday afternoon. Spring can take its sweet time making its way to the NW.

  • Gnarlyle

    I agree with Alpentalic. Skied face shots all day on Mt Hood last Saturday and another few feet have fallen since then. The PNW has had a pretty great year, just look at Baker’s base

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