I've been spending a lot of time with Dave while here in Seattle/Bellingham, and he thankfully provides the motivation that I lack, post-expedition, to actually gear up and get out. But once I'm out, I love being in the mountains - the Northwest is so beautiful, and so quiet, in the backcountry.
We went on a short tour by the Mt Baker ski area on Sunday, and hiked up past some snowboarders who had smoothed out a jump for the afternoon's entertainment. It's been a few years since I was at Alta, but remember the feeling of being intentionally airborne on skis. As we watched, one of them offered to let us jump in, but didn't expect me to actually start taking off my pack! The first attempt merely demonstrated that the launch wasn't what I expected, but the second attempt resulted in a good launch, if slightly less-successful landing. Dave, who is still learning to telemark, just enjoyed the show with a good laugh. I can't upload videos here, but if you're on Facebook, check it out there.
A little more skiing this weekend before heading to India again, and to Nepal - I'll be leading Alpine's treks to Everest Base Camp and up Island Peak. Lots to write about, I'm sure!