Sunday, May 3, 2015
Winter in the Eastern Sierra. For us, winter calls to mind visions of long backcountry ski tours, fast-paced alpine ski racing, stormy days spent floating through knee-deep powder, and lazy evenings curled up in front of a roaring fire. But four long winters into a drought, we are slowing reimagining a new vision of winter. Sure, we still enjoy countless Nordic laps and many days of alpine racing. But the dreamy powder days we took for granted during the plentiful winters of 2010 and 2011 have become increasingly scarce.
Although we lament the loss of our powder days, we embrace the new fair-weather activities made possible by these dry winters. Long, dry, cold stretches bring backcountry ice skating on local lakes, while desert hikes offer a welcome reprieve from the cold. When warm weather melts our backcountry ice, we head to one of the many local crags for rock climbing or bouldering, or running or mountain biking trails.
A nuthatch slyly hops toward our food as we climb: our first sign of spring. More signs appear as bright red paintbrush and deep purple lupine bloom near the trailheads. Their colors slowly creep higher into the mountains. Although some snow remains at the highest elevations, the message is clear: winter, such as it was, is over.
Posted by Heather and Sierra at 8:13 PM