Magical Mercury

Solidarity comes in the form of simple, white light pictures. Just like fresh-snow-day light.

AKA One Week with the DSLR and This Is All I Got.

Read on to find out how this post is actually about snow. Or at least the beginning of posts about snow.poultry


Last year the mountains opened on Nov 15. The snow was man made, but the below zero temps were Mother Nature’s making. This year, the H2O’s made a crazed rebound but where’s the magical mercury? Is there nothing left to do but wait at Mother Nature’s mercy,  doing other mundane crazy things like learn to use a camera?

A group of people I know and someone I don’t, that exists to me only through Facebook (thus far) are on reconnaissance missions. Wisdom and marks tell me to stay home, so I’ll be relying on their intelligence. Manning Park, Brew Hut and Elfin Lakes are all snow-worthy places that may lie just below freezing level to accrue snow during this daunting rainy weekend. Whistler of course is getting pounded-up high. No surprise there. Wouldn’t it be great if they returned with reports of snow falling into every crevice in the ground and their bodies come Monday? But that isn’t likely the case. I’m jaded here, in my third snow deprived season on the awesome but sadly vertically challenged local mountains. I’m seriously questioning if I will ever, in the near future, board not like an idiot. I’m seriously questioning how shitty my future looks, mountains or no, on the basis of the string of events that I call my life. Snowboarding and the outdoors gave me confidence but I just haven’t put in enough hours. That magical mercury took me to a Wonderland. I haven’t proved myself worthy. *

What I do know, however, is that believing in the power of the outdoors (and of course studying harder) is the key to a happy future. The purpose of my outdoor pursuits has always been life’s happy aspects: strangers that become friends, learning, and feeling at home in one’s body. One day that stuff will pay off. Persistence pays off even when talent dries up.

Human beings are capable of living their dreams if only because they can’t stand to suffer passivity.

Whatever you lose you will get back, only differently and better than before.

Don’t think about how you failed. Think about how many more magical mercury days there are in the future and how you can start working towards them, now.

And be at peace. That’s the most important of all. When that mercury drops, it’ll drop. Don’t fuck with the way Mother Nature made you or the earth because you’ll only fuck yourself back.

You can’t shake them off even when you realize you’re a loser. I have the same goals, only a longer time line or new goals altogether. If there’s anything I learned through counselling it’s that smaller, concrete goals set you up to success, whereas big vague goals lead to disappointment. Some of those goals are:

Last Year:

-Snowboarding off of a bigger drop into fresh snow (Yes, I can barely drop right now: I was thinking an excess of 2 metres 😉 )

-Waking up in a tent to board in untouched snow (Vague; probably could do it at Elfin Lakes)

-Learn to not just do ride on features.

What Actually Happened:

-Through an awesome friend I saw why the next step to progression wasn’t necessarily harder features but learning to finesse on those features ie boardslide. How cool is that? The more you can break down large movements, the better you’re getting. And the more fun you’ll have.

-I hauled up skis that I didn’t even know how to use to fresh snow and I also slept in the hut because I was too weak from hauling ski to haul up 6 pounds of tent. And I never woke up in time, either.

-I hauled up a board in May where I found out most of the snow had softened to curry. And I slept in a hut again.

-I didn’t drop. There were no places to drop from. Low snow on local mountains=only beginner runs open. Didn’t go elsewhere.

-Saw dead ends everywhere. However I did learn, at last ditch, to ride switch into a 180 off a jump made by the people (no park features in low snow conditions) and tried to butter (While procrastinating, I found a video about doing this that proved I’d been doing it wrong but also tells you how to do it correctly:

What I could have done:

-improved switch riding and finesse

Why I did what I did:
Just milking the fun out of the moment, thinking I’d never get it again. Ie let it rip with no regard to learning-man, my riding was terrible.

So, this year, anticipating no snow (seriously) and having about as much cash as 2 days to a resort that actually has snow:

-Do better at school. No pressure.

-Camp. Hike.

-Be at peace.

-Treasure and learn every time you do get to board

-Visualize it when you’re not there.

-Just be grown up about it. The cookie jar eventually runs out and you have to make the harrowing trek to the grocery store to buy more cookies. This is the buying more cookies part.

To be fair, I may be throwing in the towel. I think I’m not, but trust me, it’s not up for me to decide.* (*However, snowboarding and every other passion you care about is like drugs.)  What’s up for me to decide is how to prepare for it. Instead of feeling sad my favourite runs aren’t open it’s better to know that I’ll be ready when they are. It’s up to me to make better plans for future years when I’ll travel further for snow, if I can, and in the meantime pick up hobbies. You know what? All outdoor pursuits are fucking amazing. I won’t privilege one over the other. Snowboarding seems ridiculous, no pain  (except money) and all the gain to be had (You have to trek to reach your desired destination for backpacking) but actually, that’s just the starter price. Put in more pain and the higher the gain. And never lose sight of your passion.

I’ll never forget what a fellow outdoorsman once said: “Once you’re off the bike, you’re not a biker.” Sounds negative until you read it the other way around: “Once you’re on the bike, you’re a biker.”


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