Before resorts, lift tickets and overpriced pizza, there was adventure in skiing. Before the mountains were harnessed with lifts, bound with ropes and scarred with designated runs, they were wild. Actions with consequences were chosen and the individual was held responsible. No liability forms or waivers. The lifts came and made the mountains small, tame and in time, boring. We were sold that THIS is skiing. And we obeyed. A revolution is taking place. With this resurgence into the backcountry we look for real adventure beyond the tightly wound, firmly stretched orange and black ropes that “protect” us from knowing freedom. The backcountry is the imagination unleashed and you get out what you put in. There are real boundaries and limitations though; avalanches, exposure to the elements, conditions and fatigue all challenge one to grow in knowledge, patience and fitness. The joy comes in discovering these limitations, moving through fear and exploring beyond. Putting in the perspiration and inspiration leads to ELEVATION.
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