El Fin

Tuckermans_Ravine

El fin, or the end, (for those who don’t understand foreign languages) implies a linear progression.  I don’t think of life as linear.  Therefore, I don’t think of life’s experiences as linear.  Yes, things begin that may not have existed before.  But, let’s get cosmic for a second: do experiences ever really end?

Snow falls, piles up, then it melts – it’s the hydrogen cycle baby! During the 3rd step of the cycle, evaporation, snowboarders go back to riding skateboards, swinging golf clubs, pedaling bikes, eating burritos, folkin’, and so on; but, the thoughts of last season always linger. Piling up like the snow did  last fall.  As seasons go by the end gets easier.  Perhaps that’s because it seems to occur later and later into the Spring as I squeeze every last drop from Winter.  In 2012, April 28 marked my final day strapping on a snowboard. In 2013, my final day was April 20th.

After 15 years of sliding sideways, I am growing more and more okay with the end.  Of course I always look forward to Winter and shredding,  but I rest assured knowing Winter will return, global warming or not. I’m done with whining about it being “over.”  Because it is not over. We’re just fasting.

So with this idea in mind I wrote this post as a tribute to my final indulgence before a 7-month fast from sliding sideways.

A brief summation of my final shred-session this season: a trip to Tuckerman’s Ravine:

– Leave Friday and climb a real rock for the first time. Camp in the backyard of a dude who had an elk rack on his house. Dude enjoys wine and climbing – both in equal excess.  His girlfriend  teaches outdoorsy stuff at a catholic, all-female college in Massachusetts.  She has 5  students visiting this same weekend.  The first thing she tells us is that they are all devote christians.

– Awake Saturday and found a great deal on bagels – eat 6 bagels all day.

– Begin hike up the Tuckerman Ravine Trail at 8am.  Use the splitboard and make it  up the 2.5 trail in 1:45:00.

– Wicked thaw – freeze cycle has turned the ravine into bullet-proof ice; we hike up anyway.  Make 2 turns and slide down 300 ft on my ass.  Proceed to hang out in bowl with snow-margaritas, bourbon and other stuff. Have a fun, safe ride down the Sherburne trail on corn snow.

– Go to a parking lot somewhere in the Whites to cook fish, venison and sausage. Also, drink more bourbon.

-Fall asleep, wake up, check out a local crag, and drive home to a 70F Philadelphia.

And so, the fast has begun.

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