It’s been distinctly autumnal ever since I got back from the Bob, but we’ve had cold rain in town numerous times this week, and snow overnight the day before last. All of which means that ski season is on the way. Hopefully a little sooner than last year.

In fact, last weekend two duos from town managed to get themselves avalanched out of a couloir on Trapper Peak. The writeup is admirably candid, and a timely reminder. Missoula Avalanche is doing their usual free lectures in the coming month, and there are two avy one classes in town in January. All that, and I need a beacon.

(I struggle on this issue, as I’m a novice skier and backcountry snow traveler, and thus am properly hesitant to open my mouth. That being said, the attitude which seems to pervade a lot of chatter about avy safty bugs me. It’s good to have a good beacon, and even more important to be intimately familiar with it’s use, but above all the very use of any avy equipment beyond the preemptive and prophylactic strikes me as an admission of failure. The classes and clinics I took last winter gave me the impression that avalanches are for the most part quite predictable, and that getting your party into one means that you fucked up pretty big. This video, commented on here before, shows that well enough.)

Knowledge is power. (I should also say that the general elitist gnarnitude that pervades skiers. Resort skiing is like golf with dumber clothes.)

We should also pause, now, and remember the fun which snow holds for us, soon: