Thursday, October 7, 2010

Adventures vs. Sessions

A lot of my trips are sessions.  Every ride at SMBA, every trip to Gore, every hike up Cascade is something I've done before, and I'm doing again.  Sure, I might do some interesting new stuff when I get to the mountain (ski a new line, try a new trail, etc.), but the general routine is the same - get up at the familiar time, make the familiar drive, get on the familiar lift.  I call them sessions because it's kind of like when someone in the terrain park is sessioning a kicker (or a rail, or whatever).  Basically, he's doing the same thing over and over again, practicing, dialing in new stuff, and getting better.  Certain attempts are extremely sick (or even epic), but it doesn't change the fact that he's just going up and down a familiar feature.

Because most of my trips are sessions, my trip reports will all be pretty similar.  I generally like to hit the same trails, with a similar group of people, and do similar things afterwords (i.e. drinking heavily).  That's not to say it's not absolutely fun (because it is), but it doesn't lend itself well to the blog format.  There's only so many times I can post a video of skiing on Rumor (or mountain biking Bee at SMBA, etc.) without it getting boring.

With that in mind, I resolve to have more adventures this year. Times when I don't get up and drive to the same mountain.  Times when I might camp overnight, or see a line from a backwoods road and attempt to ski it, or do a new activity that I don't normally do (snowshoeing? ice climbing?).  Besides, adventures are more fun to read about - even when they happen on your home mountain.

And speaking of adventures, the new Powder Magazine apparently has some photos from an adventure that was ummm . . . less than fully legal:

Inside the magazine, you'll find a two-page photo (by a photographer who's used a penname and an unnamed skier) and a story written by Peter Kray on skiing in Bryce Canyon National Park, a feat that's rare for two reasons: One, it rarely snows enough in southern Utah for the skiing to be any good and two, it's actually against the law to downhill ski or snowboard off the rim in Bryce Canyon National Park

Ha.  I find it a little silly that this particular national park does not allow skiing (the official reason is "Our cliffs are very steep here"), so I can kind of see the appeal of an adventure that skirts the law, especially with photos like the one on the cover:

The best part of the article seems to be the bit about some skiers who got nabbed:

Kray's story talks about how a photographer and some skiers got approached by a ranger in Bryce Canyon. "They did get caught, but they didn't get a ticket," Powder editor Derek Taylor told ESPN. "They apparently told the ranger that they didn't see any signage indicating they couldn't ski there."

Excellent.  The old "I didn't see any sign" defense (sorry officer, I didn't see any sign that said I couldn't BASE jump off the Statue of Liberty, so I just assumed it'd be okay).  This, of course, is second only to Dave Chappelle's "I didn't know I couldn't do that" Defense.  But regardless of how you get out of the mess you've gotten yourself into, at least you'll have a good story to tell.

And really, isn't that the whole point of an adventure?

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