It was my friend Yonton who introduced me to the concept of Ascent and Descent, or A&D. A summertime A&D is defined as such: a single day wherein you go climbing and then you go kayaking. Based on the amount of driving, shuttles, equipment, and energy required for both these sports, A&D is a real feat. Yesterday, Sunday, I had my own A&D, only it was the Winter version, and it felt more like an A&A, Ascent and Ascent.
Technically skiing is more of a downhill operation, but this was my first time on my AT (All Terrain) set up. I skinned up and walked straight up the mountain, and it takes a while. The way down is just swish swish and it's over. Really, it felt like an Ascent to me.
But if I want to be truly accurate about the day, it looked more like this:
Ascent. Getting up the mountain. I skinned. Jenny Stepped:
Descent- my summit sandwich going down:
Descent. The classic kind:
Descent. Coming down:
Descent. Self explanatory. Down the hatch:
****Jenny got a panic stricken message from me late on Saturday night: "Jenny! It's me....so, as you know, I know how to downhill, but I've never been on AT's before and I imagine you dress different?....um....I don't know what to wear so, how about this- I'll just bring everything to your house tomorrow. Okay, see you then. Also, how necessary are poles?"
Jenny is a natural morning person. She wakes up at 6:30 every day without an alarm. I, on the other hand.....do not.
Long story short, Jenny is extremely patient and it doesn't phase her a bit when, after finally getting my boots on, I go- "Wait, wait, I think I have too many pairs of socks on. Let's start over." And another stop on the way to the mountain to get more coffee? She's all about it! I think I love her.
When we made it to the summit, we sat down to eat some food and celebrated having an entire mountain to ourselves.
Jenny tossed her head back and responded, "We're not worried. There are more of us hiding in the woods." Then she turned back to her pasta.
It was a strange conversation.
And then the fog and the ice and the snow came. And the map didn't seem to make sense.
Probably because it a map of Alpine trails. We were not interested in alpine trails.
But don't worry, the blond army made it down no sweat. I have to say, Jenny is one hell of an athlete. And the whole concept of skinning, AT bindings and the promise of back country almost made those countless, insufferable, ubiquitous Facebook statuses of Earn your Turns, Bro! Free Your Heals Free your Mind or Whatever! Shredding Some Gnar up at Whistler this weekend! and anything with the word "pow"....bearable. (I said Almost.) (I'm looking at you, large majority of my friends.)
Ten o'clock, after eating an entire pizza, working on endurance, last soldier at the gym.
And finally, Prost on Phinney Ridge, for somebody's birthday, where I literally stopped all conversation when I ordered a margarita instead of a beer. Relax, haters- that's just how it is.
So, that's about it for Sunday. We don't have any money, we don't have kids, we're confused about careers, we're halfheartedly employed. But we do have snow, and friends with sail boats, and there are 36 places to drink beer in Ballard alone. So I guess we're doing alright.