Each season when the snow barely begins to touch the alpine surface sparks the stoke. Those who can’t wait any longer to put on their skis, venture to their favorite places to test the waters.
Often the early season is met with disappointment when our expectations for good runs are elevated by the last turns of the previous season. But early season skiing isn’t about epic snow and long runs. It is rekindling the experience of the mountains, and the appreciation of what is to come. It gives us a bit of fuel for the fire till the real season begins.
A few years ago I thought that a day was a total bust if skiing didn’t result in some amazing run or epic snow. As my love for the mountains matures it has become something more. The early season is a right of passage. Ignoring the early, low coverage starts will leave you with a void in the complete ski experience. It helps you appreciate those special days more throughout the winter. The heavy lifting, backcountry gymnastics over tree debris, and full body warfare of the approaches builds a fitness that will reap benefits in January when the big storms and snow rolls in.
When skiig early season, look at it as a recon mission. Visit the places that you have always wanted to see but haven’t because you were looking for a sure thing on a great snow day. It is a time to expand your horizons and familiarize yourself on your systems and gear. The small things learned and drilled early in the year make for better, more efficient trips when it really counts.