Monday, December 20, 2010

The Purpose of Blogs

As far as I can see, the purpose of a blog is so you can get onto your own personal soap-box and enjoy the occasional - or depending on temperament - frequent rant.  And, as anyone who admits to even a passing acquaintance with me knows, I do enjoy an episodic rant.  

Having recently become hooked into the Facebook network - Doug and I have taken to posting photos of our mountain adventures.  It's fun to post a couple of pictures of your latest day out skiing or climbing, fun to see what your friends have been doing, and, I'll admit it, fun to engage in some spraying.  So maybe, it should come as no surprise that a bit of spraying about the awesome skiing we've had lately inevitably draws out of the woodwork all the people who want to know exactly where you were skiing so they can go there themselves.  

Generally, I'm kind of vague about that.  Likely, it's just pure selfishness - I've found some great skiing in some awesome terrain with superb snow and I'd like to keep it to myself.  After all, "there are no friends on powder days."  Undoubtedly, this drives all the people who want the exact directions, right turns, left turns, GPS coordinates, latitude, longitude whatever, crazy.  But there it is. 

I could pass off my lack of explicit directions as owing to some kind of philosophical belief that allows that only that which we have truly earned - by finding the location for yourself - will we truly appreciate, but, it's likely that it's just pure selfishness. 

Certainly, the desire to go out and explore terrain seems to be a dying value.  I always think of exploring terrain as a calculated risk - the slope/terrain that looks so awesome on the map may or may not turn out to be as good as you think.  The risk is that you slog all day for some miserable skiing, the reward is that the terrain turns out to be better than you think and you have one of the greatest days of the season.  The more you explore, the better you get at judging terrain from a map, and the higher ratio of great days to miserable days you have, so, that by the time you've been doing this as long as I have, there are actually few surprises. 

But, you may have to suffer through a few days, weeks, seasons or years - depending on how motivated you are to learn - of time where the miserable days outnumber the great days.  But, in the end, the beauty of it is, it's all up to you.  Seek out information, learn as much as you can, test your hypotheses and honestly examine the results and soon you'll be spraying about the great places you've been skiing and I'll be asking for directions.  

Ski touring in some big, beautiful alpine terrain over the weekend - don't ask where it is.

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