Revisiting an Old Hobby
Last year I wrote a post about pressure within my community; specifically pressure to be a backcountry skier. After months of back and forth and being incredibly indecisive, Brad and I took the plunge and purchased an alpine touring setup. There are several reasons why I decided to revisit this old hobby that I was raised on but a big one is that I really want to do as much as I can with my pups.
Downhill resort skiing hasn't been working for me the past few years. One reason is because downhill boots are so stiff and just put my foot through so much pain. The other reason is that the crowds at ski resorts have been giving me a lot anxiety lately. I get nervous about someone crashing into me, about too many people around me not paying attention. It might sounds crazy but it is a legitimate fear that I have.
I decided to go with the Salomon MTN Explore 88 Skis and the Salomon MTN Explore W Boots. The boots took some breaking in but I got them specifically because they are super flexible and light and designed to charge down like freeride boots. The skis are equally as awesome with the perfect blend of uphill climbing efficiency and downhill performance. For bindings I went with the Dynafit TLT Radical ST 2.0 specifically because they are super light and efficient. I could not be happier with my set up and it was worth the extra money to get gear that is nice and lightweight
A few weeks ago we took our new gear out for a test run and I made some awesome turns while having a complete blast. As I hiked up the mountain sweating buckets and realizing how out of shape I was, I was giddy and super excited. Prior to heading out that day I was nervous that I would be miserable and hate it, just as I did as a kid. But I didn't hate any of it. I welcomed the uncomfortableness of the hike and eagerly switched to downhill mode when it was time to make some turns. I glided down the hill as if I'd never even taken a break from backcountry skiing. It all came back very naturally and I didn't even fall once!
My parents taught me everything about the outdoors, it was engrained into me but as a teenager and young adult I wanted nothing to do with it because I felt so much pressure to live up to their expectations. I'm the first to admit that I never thought I would be ski touring again but as I've gotten older I've started to enjoy challenging myself physically. There's something pretty special about revisiting old hobbies that your parents brought you up on and developing your own appreciation for them.
We've been out a few more times since our first outing and I'm really stoked on my new touring set up. The dogs have been loving the time in the backcountry too and nothing makes me happier than seeing their happy faces run through fresh pow.