Linzay and I hike, the others “skin”. Skinning is an ancient ski tradition, also known as touring, invented by some far more clever ancient type of people, who needed a way to go up hill (using seal skin on the bottom of their ski). It also keeps your butt looking good. In our little race, hiking is clearly losing, but at least we dont have to ride down the hill on skis. I call it break even.
The sweat pour off us, dispute predawn temperature. Pausing to catch our breath, the sky breaks into its orange and purple mess, though last nights lingering clouds. Cant help but smile, and continue walking, and therefore continue sweating. Our ride down is worth every drop, every turn on the ungroomed earned, like a surfer who paddles for his waves. Its easy to get removed from the reward and pure feeling of snowboarding without a lift. Its even easier to be removed from how beautiful it all is at 5am.