It’s fall season here in North America. That means snow is around the corner.

Looking outside as I drink my morning brew the first signs of winter are evident up high on the peaks. The wheels start to turn. Where’s my touring gear? Maybe I should get it out just in case. What if there’s a freak storm and its dumping tomorrow? I cross my fingers. Opening the door I double check, is it winter yet? Nope. You never know when it’s going to snow these days. Global weirding has our planets biological clock in disarray. There’s no order to it anymore. You got to be ready to strike at all times. Its second nature for us backcountry enthusiasts and outdoor freaks to stick a finger in the air to determine which way the wind is blowing or take a whiff and smell winter approaching. A natural aptitude or gift I guess.

Still fresh on my mind is powder turns in June. It was my last good day. Could’ve been an early season storm, it felt like winter was starting again. Pre season and late season days are unpredictable in a sense. You just have to go with your instinct. There might be fresh snow up in the mountains you have to look for yourself.  As I drove up the canyon that day all signs pointed to a Utah pow day. Each step up the skin track the snow got deeper. Active meditation sets in. Blue skies and over a foot of cold, fluffy snow greeted us as we topped out. The change over happens methodically, my splitboard is transformed and gear is organized and neatly stuffed into my backcountry pack. Off I go. The turns were effortless as I rode down the mountain. I switched my brain to cruise control and nothing else mattered outside of the now. My face is covered with snow as I reach the bottom. Grinning from ear to ear I reach my friend. Pinching my arm I make sure those turns really happened. I start hiking again already enjoying the gratitude I get from putting my body in motion. Thoughts float in my head. Living simply isn’t just a motto, it’s a mantra. Going back to the core. Simple pleasures that don’t cost heaps of money and rewards that you can’t buy in stores.

This routine is what I live for. Ski touring is my daily routine. One that’s comparable to brushing your teeth and getting ready for bed. It happens naturally. My year revolves around winter. So when that first storm of the year hits or that rare powder storm in June, be ready for it. Get your gear tuned up and head out to the hills. Because the last thing you want to hear from your neighbor is you should have been there yesterday. Or look at that Instagram picture of your buddy getting face shoots and have that moment of FOMO (fear of missing out). See you on the skin track!

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Forrest Shearer

Your plans for this winter?
To splitboard, climb mountains, and snow surf. The options are endless, searching out new mountains to ride. Looking forward to bad stories and good trips. The best days make the worst days worthwhile.

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