pizbuin-11
Originally uploaded by ripsaw ridge I’m happy to report that finally, after two years of effort, ski touring has entered my blood. I can ski well enough now that I hardly ever fall down in a tangle of arms and legs. I do my share of “kick turning,” which means my descents aren’t as joyful as those of a real skier. But I’ve found a sweet spot with it. There are just so many places to ski tour here, an endless supply of mountains. And I get to see so much more of the Winter Alps than I ever saw of the Winter Cascades. Adding up the ski tours (and occasional snowshoe tour, which I still like), I have been able to do considerably more “hiking” in the winter here than back in the U.S..

Ski touring is way, way more rewarding than going to a lift area. The few times I went this year were marred by snow-making machinery and icy slopes.

This is a picture I took from the Silvrettahorn, in the Rätikon Alps on the Swiss/Austrian border. I love the party of 5 people traveling on the ridge top. And I love the steep, pointy mountain across the valley.