Updated: Mar 25, 2019
North has been the only direction I have ever intended on moving, so as winter set in I packed my gear and headed to Canada. Four winters ago I did the same, all with the intention of skill building, to be a better snowboarder and mountain-goer. Growing up in Michigan and living in Oregon didn't provide the same velocity of mountain travel, so Canada became my home away from home, a whole-hearted attempt at becoming some poser-esque bush woman, but mostly I just wanted to be able to keep up with anyone, access more lines to snowboard and be prepared for anything.
This winter began my second year as a snowmobile owner. It was this year I realized that owning this machine was such a dream, I was so lucky to be able to provide the means for myself to access such an incredible tool. Not to mention, it was so fun. It was also incredibly challenging, learning a new skill set. Standing in the the grocery store line, I laugh at the headlines, 'Toned arms,' 'Sexy back,' 'Strong core,'... Yeah! Just get an 850 girls! It's hard at times, undoubtedly, but I love the time and days and energy I put into being at least a little more proficient at manhandling the machine and delicately controlling the throttle.
From being a firefighter, sleeping on the ground and mostly splitboarding this past two years, I acquired some hip pain and eventually this winter, an injury to the muscles while splitboarding a big peak. Although I love snowboarding, I had to take some time off to let my body heal from the years of abuse. Luckily I had my sled and the weather stayed cold and clear. I hopped on trails and logging roads, using local knowledge to go to the places where few went to mitigate terrifying km's of whoops. I followed tracks already set as far as it made sense up one drainage of mountains after another. I mindsurfed all the lines on the horizons, figured how to best access them all and took sunny cold day after sunny cold day as a chance to go to where I hadn't been before.
I snowboarded when it made sense, getting sled bumps from friends, when it was smooth. So, I let my body heal and enjoyed my time in the trees and away from most of humanity, but feeling more apart of it than ever. As spring encroached and my pain subsided, the chairlifts called me to get back into my bindings. I love snowmobiling but I will always just be a snowboarder. Hopefully soon I will be splitboarding again too, as I realized this winter, nothing makes my heart more full than climbing up mountains to go snowboarding.