Hail Brave Hearts
It’s an awesome day in wonderland. The winter snow is fresh and soft, calling us to our great outdoors. Adventure again, into the wilderness, for a day or two of winter play, winter fun and the joy of the playground of white. Sliding skis push us past the open potholes of water. We squeeze along narrow snow bridges that keep us out of the drink. Along, along to a fine destination of winter backcountry fun in an isolated, remote chalet, ours for a couple of days.
The pristine great wild, in it’s outstanding winter splendor, welcomes us to fresh snow and warm winter temperatures. A balmy -5 in mid January is a bit too warm for this time of year, but we welcome the change from the deep chill. It’s selfish though. Those days of -30 kill off overwintering bugs and larvae that ruin the forest and the forest itself is part of this great adventure.
We have the good fortune of seeing a female moose and her calf, three ptarmigan in winter white plumage and dippers flying under the snow bridges along the river. We feel blessed. Blessed for a Canadian holiday in one of our wild, protected places and blessed for the foresight of mountain pioneers who loved to roam the snowy slopes and who placed a fine chalet in it’s midst for our safety and enjoyment. This is rare and the historical archives serve us well, in keeping these small huts open.
The day is warm and sunny and sun tanning in snow pits is an eternal joy. The fabulous white blanket covers the land and we happily try our best ski moves in this fun filled adventure. Never too old, never too tired. Die hards are we, and we relish the good fortune of years of practice for these special moments in these special places. Luckily, someone else has the responsibility for the maintenance of these isolated huts. Tucked away in hard to find places, obscure locations that are hard to find, the upkeep is a chore but the reward for us is fantastic!
We meet other enthusiasts, heading up into the high powder bowls for a day of ski touring Perfection! Winter at it’s best.
This is the winter that we long for, the winter that we crave. So many sports, so much activity, so many ways to enjoy a beautiful winter’s day. The bright, shiny, clean snow. The marvelous wildlife, the fun filled sports and enthusiastic company of humans who live to enjoy this annual promise of snow. But with this unusual warm spell, brings another environmental concern, global warming. It’s only -5 today in January. An unheard of mild winter warm spell that lets us play for hours outdoors is also an unfortunate detriment to our winter wonderland. The play is fabulous, but the winter won’t last during warm temperatures like this and rain will arrive sooner to wash it all away.
Take the precautions to save us, oh great human. There is still time.
written by Dr. Louise Hayes