Taking stock: day trips are bullshit

I’ve had a few ideas washing around my head for a while, and wanted to share some on my new favorite music, and result of both is the following video.  Going through the material I realized that I’ve had quite a good 2011 thus far, and it also struck me that the numerous multiday trips are almost without exception the most memorable.  Day trips, however nice, always seem to come up short

The beginning of the year was marked with many, many days of excellent powder skiing.  A few stand out, but I didn’t go camping enough.  Part of it was laziness and lassitude and inertia, part a lack of confidence in my avy skills (and that many of the best routes are avy prone, also that big traverses take longer in winter).  I did improve my skiing a lot, and resolution number one for next winter is to jump fully into winter ski traverses.

Spring, meaning warmer temps and consolidating snowpack, came very late and inconsistently this year.  My training for the GrizPerson suffered a major hiccup when I ran into a tree skiing Brown Mountain and was out of action for several weeks.  Bill and I still had a good showing, and have a big list of things to do better (and thus be faster) next year.  I got sick right after that race, and took a while to recover, but the last five weeks have been outstanding, both from a training and from a quality-of-adventure standpoint.

Those two juxtaposed and held up to decide plans for this weekend were further illuminated by Jill’s timely post.  Adventure can often be good training, and training can be made adventurous, but sometimes you have to choose one over the other.  I skipped some good ski days in March to train on the bike, a choice made easier by my still-sore leg.  That, and with the Wilderness Classic starting in little more than a month, am obliged to choose my weekend endeavors carefully.  Fortunately the necessity of time on the feet matches well with adventuring, so I’ll be off in the wilds of Glacier for 50 miles this weekend.

All of which is to say that while my season has not been without imperfections, I’m feeling in a good place, and have had an exceedingly enriching time (big hard traverses and the word fun seem an awkward match).  Nights in the woods are the key.

5 responses to “Taking stock: day trips are bullshit”

  1. Hmmmm, I’m not sure I think day trips are bullshit but it is true that I always, always, want more at the end of the day. Day trips often mean I am with friends who share a love for the outdoors with me but not enough to spend the night outdoors. This leads to me taking them on wild goose chases with over-stretched mileage, vague trails and often a bit of bushwhacking. Sometimes they thank me. Sometimes they don’t.

    Sometimes day trips are the only way people can get a hit of wilderness in very busy lives with many commitments. I’m lucky, I have far more time and less pressure than many of my friends and can plan to spend the night outdoors while they juggle relationships, families and work.

    I loved your video too. The mercurial quality of the water at around a minute in was especially beautiful.

  2. I think I agree with the title as I don’t do day trips. I had to really think when was the last time I spent a whole day in outdoors on a trip without spending a night in the woods? I don’t remember. I do overnighters with more or less walking, weekend trips and week+ trips but apparently I don’t do day trips. I do occasionally put some weights in my rucksack and head out for a two or three hour walk or ski but that’s not a trip… that’s more of a training or something. If I have a whole day to spent outdoors I usually can easily add one night to it. So, I don’t bother going for day trips. If there would be some cool wilderness where I live, I might do more day trips: run a stretch of creek, ascent a local summit or something but going for a day long roundtrip on a trail in the woods sounds somehowincomplete, it’s missing the sleeping part. ;)

  3. Obviously I was being provocative. Good points both, and I agree with both.

  4. the other Eric Avatar
    the other Eric

    well lucky you then!

  5. What about 1/8th day trips?

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