It’s always to soon to leave the mountains and the cold behind – the white coating that erases the pressures and stress of life in the valleys.
Last week was the last ski race of the season, and with an old knee injury aggravated, I’m afraid it might just be the end of my winter. But it’s too soon. (It’s always too soon.)
I can feel my knee healing by increments as some combination of ice, ibuprofen, elevation, and gentle exercise combine. Minutes on my bicycle add up to a stronger joint, but the going is slow and I am impatient. I’m worried it won’t be strong enough in time the long hike up to Tuckerman Ravine, my favorite part of spring.
The knee problem has happened before. The last time, my knee gave out on Tuckerman Ravine, which gave me my first ever, albeit mild, concussion. I won’t be making that mistake again, but I want to be on that mountain. There is no better way to say hello to spring than standing on the ridge of Mt Washington, looking down on the green world emerging.
It’s cold again. I even biked through a Friday snow squall with flakes as large as quarters blurring my vision. But soon it will be warm. It won’t be long before I’m running outside, floating in Lake Champlain, and (if I conquer my fear) mountain biking.
I know plenty of people who say their favorite time to ski is in the spring, when powder days are interspersed with warm sunshine and soft snow. Smiles on faces and barbecues in parking lots. But I hate it. I hate watching the snow melt away. I hate emerging from hibernation, shedding layers in the heat until it’s me that’s melting.
For everything there is a season. But winter will always be mine.
Will you be missing winter, too? Or is there something special about spring that you can’t wait for?