simple ski pole against a San Juan’s first simple snow…simple though it be?  this image is fine enough for my Bardo Entry meditation…this and all other photos by ilg

insignificant ilg has once again fallen in love with winter upcOMing…

sOMehow, in this mecca of backcountry athletes,  ilg scored first (ski) tracks once again in the high San Juan’s post first winter snow…

and – once again – i’ve fallen in love with the rumpled quilt of snow draped across the mountainsides and how seductively the Aspen Beings have undressed  themselves as if in curtsey to the first deep freeze…shucking their leafy, flaming garments of leaves like so many living farolitos. it’s all so breathtakingly gorgeous, this Last Gasp of autumn breached upon the first snows…may ilg position his insouciant limbs into the Divine Mother’s arms with a fraction of the beauty of a singular San Juan aspen leaf in late October!

gone skiing

my note to my family…instead of “Gone Fishing”…a much less violent…”Gone Skiing”…how ilg has WAITED to leave such a note on the doorstep!  Summers seem so long to a devoted Winter Athlete

every week for the past month ilg has been stewing the same thing in my mental notebook: seeking the snow,  as if this is odd and significant news to a nordic man.  this preference for snow started casually back in March as the final drapes of frozen white blankets across the high alpine meadows of Flagstaff melted.  this morning ilg was like a junkie who would chop down Grandfather Sun if i could for a hit of a fresh pow beneath my skinned skis. Let me know when regional cloud-seeding is invented…i’ll invest.

ilg happy in snow

at over 11,000′ over Molas Pass today…though i’ve climbed over 800′ already,  my only mantra was, “God…i am sooo happy!”

ilg will gleefully admit..i’m in love with the rumpled quilt of fragile first snows draped across these high mountainsides and how the flaming yellow cottonwoods insist upon lighting  up the Animas valley though their leafy death is beyond doubt.  as i pedal along the Animas River bike path, i’ll all to often shout to Dewachen in the baby-carrier seat behind me: “look at those cottonwoods! Isn’t that yellow amazing?”   All the while,  realizing in an adult fashion that Dewa’s vision is filtered through a micro lens.  She’d prefer one single cottonwood leaf in her precious hand than a forest gone berserk along a still wild river.

first snow 10

notice the gentle pile of snow upon the pine branches…not unlike my rear leg during Pavritta Ardha Chandrasana.  if only we Human Beings could sluff off our emotional burdens as easily as a pine tree drops her branched burden in the warming sun after a snow!

so, ilg cross-country skied today…my first glorious adventure into my cherished winter wonderland of the season!  conditions were, well…marginally schizophrenic (even within my definition).  by that i mean, at one mOMent i was schussing through 8″ of fresh powder, cold as could be, then turn a corner and see nothing but mud and rocks layered by a dubious 1/2″ of ‘snow’.

sketched out

ilg rather doubts that you’d enjoy trying to keep up with me across such marginal conditions…and you wonder why my HP Yoga™ classes include so many one-legged balance postures?…just try keeping up with me down such descents as this, today!  i use tiny, edgeless track skis for backcountry excursions into the Pranic Heights like today!

nordic bobsled

looking down the descent i just skied up…does this make you want to be 3 again? why can’t we just ski with friends for the rest of our lives?

engineer peak

another sexy peek at Engineer Peak…

alpine frozen rill

frozen alpine rill…just TRY to convince ilg that there is a higher Go(o)d!

ilg in first snow

behold!   the first, ilg swears, of the first fall of snows among my Sacred San Juans!

do what you may in the gyms, out on the paved roads,  even on the manufactured trails over which many transport, yet feeble ilg sez this;  not until thy has breathed heavily amongst the limb’d heavy pines of first snows, and the ice-veneered streams twined between the fall-starched mullein and the elk-hooved grooves across the snow-scaped meadows of the rocky heights….one has yet to truly breathe with the lungs of the UniVerse.

that is all,

your feeble mountain yogi

3 Responses to “Once Again; Falling In Love With Winter UpcOMing…”

  1. Brad Gantt says:

    Beautiful EC!!! Gotta get up high soon.

  2. BB says:

    Awesome tracks coach! I just got my first ski of the season today!

  3. Kit Johaneson says:

    Snow in the high country – nothing better.

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