something is better than nothing

December 18, 2008

Something is better than nothing. That’s what Elliot Smith sang, and I didn’t really get it or agree with it when I first heard the song.

But now I get it. Now that the snow is finally falling here in the Wasatch, now that the snow finally reaches to the road, now I get it. Because even though we’re getting pounded, in the conundrum that is avalanche science, getting pounded, then going a month NOT getting pounded, then getting pounded again is a bad thing.

Clear? See, the problem is, that snow we got a month ago sat uncovered and rotted, so when lots and lots of new snow finally falls on it, the new snow, well, it slides right off. But not by itself, it waits for you (or me) to step on it first.

But I’ve got cabin fever, and brand spankin new skis that I love, so I can’t wait. There’s always someplace to go, and something is better than nothing.

Me n Mark n Tyler headed up Big Cottonwood canyon early this morning, just hoping to get a workout in, and maybe a few bonus turns in good snow. We hiked up Silver Fork, to the north knob of the Meadow Chutes, staying low angle (below 35 degrees) and low elevation (below about 9,500 feet), and in the trees.

Up high (but not too high) we actually found really good snow and had a good run. We would have lapped it, but Tyler is VERY IMPORTANT and had to get to the office.

This is what Silver Fork looks like when the snow is stable and deep:

derk closest in very deep

or this:

rick heading down silver

Not today. Today was about getting out, hiking, getting the heart rate up a bit, practicing our bushwhacking.

Down low we learned how to ski very light so as not to disturb the gophers in their holes.

silver fork tyler and mark standing

But I think we woke a few up.

silver fork tyler and mark

But you know, something is better than nothing, right?


11 Responses to “something is better than nothing”

  1. BurkeInTheOzarks Says:

    Elliott Smith was full of wise words. And then he killed himself, which was not wise at all.

    Have you ever crossed over to the dark side? You know, snowboarding? Since I tried it 15 years ago, I haven’t been able to bear strapping on skis again. Of course, I might look at it differently if I had the opportunity to do the back country skiing that you do.

  2. mark Says:

    I’m just glad not to have gaper gap in that photo. And glad we didn’t go all the way to the meadow chutes. Or we might still be there. Dead.

  3. mark Says:

    Burke, let me answer your dark-sided question on dug’s behalf by referring you to this:

    Not the least bit ironically, the link is adjacent to your comment. Enjoy.

  4. andy Says:

    i’m not getting the gopher joke. or do you literally mean gophers?

  5. Rick S. Says:

    I am fat and lazy. I was in bed thinking about the choice I made to not ski. I rolled over, pulled the blanket tighter and quickly got over it.

    But now, I wish I had gone.

  6. dug Says:

    andy, i literally mean gophers. the funny is that there was so little snow cover that we were actually HITTING the gophers, or maybe just rumbling their holes a bit.

    now that i think about it (thanks), it doesn’t sound so funny.

  7. bikemike Says:

    don’t mind me, mr. gopher, it’s just your friend, mr. squirrel.

  8. dug Says:

    I got to get into this dude’s pelt and crawl around for a few days. Who’s the gopher’s ally. His friends. The harmless squirrel and the friendly rabbit.

  9. BotchedExperiment Says:

    Do you mean, any lovin’s good lovin’?

  10. forgingahead Says:

    Man. Not fair. You guys get to have all the fun! First the biking. Now the skiing. I’m seriously jealous.

  11. steveA Says:

    No, still funny. Even better would have been trying to act all James Bond and ski while trying to take out the gophers!

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