How to Survive the Shoulder Season with Justin Ibarra
Like it or not, we’re in the midst of shoulder season. Mother Nature teases us with some early-season flurries and than Old Man Sunshine shines his warm rays and takes it all away. The trails get muddy from freezing and thawing, the rain keeps us inside, but have no fear, Justin Ibarra has some advice on how to keep it all together this season.
One of the best things about skiing/riding is that it brings us outside and away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Summer is fading away and there is a crisp in the air. While we are all waiting for that snow to start falling and for that first day of skiing to be had, there is no need to do so from the seat of your couch. Go outside and enjoy your surroundings. The leaves changing and the smell of winter in the air. Go on a hike, climb a mountain, go rafting or camping. Get outside and enjoy this time of year because it only leads to one thing, Winter!
Do some traveling
The shoulder season. A perfect time to travel. Less crowds and usually a cheaper time of year. It's also a great way to pass some time before the snow really starts flying. For us here in Colorado, we like to go to the desert. Moab, a quick six hour drive from Denver, is a perfect shoulder season getaway. The weather cools off and it’s a great way to stay outside and have fun doing a multitude of activities. Travel somewhere new or somewhere you have always wanted to go. It doesn't have to be far from home but it’s keeping you outside and a perfect shoulder season activity!
Brush up on your skill set
If you don't use it, you lose it. For those of us who like to participate in the backcountry, we know that there is a certain skill-set that is needed to travel safely in doing so. For most, being off snow and out of the winter environment for six months is plenty of time to acquire some rust on those skills. Every season I find myself reading through "Staying Alive" by Bruce Tremper to re-familiarize myself with techniques and to just get back into that mindset and thought process. There is a multitude of discussions and posts through social media these days to help with this process as well. Join forums, read posts, sign up for Avy Ed. Not into the backcountry? Start looking into the next seasons new product lineups. Check out what new technologies are coming out or read/write reviews on your favorite products.
Stay in shape
You have been waiting six months for this day. Stoked to strap on your skis or board, only to last a couple hours or a few laps. Then, you wake up in the morning barely able to move from being so sore. All of this could have been avoided by staying in shape. Skiing and riding works your muscles in ways that they aren't used to. At least they haven't been for six months. Leading into the season we need to get our muscles and body ready for all of that activity. Stretch, stretch, stretch and then stretch some more. Start a daily morning or evening jogging routine. Go on a hike while scoping out winter ski zones. Go to the gym. Do whatever you can to get your muscles ready to ski their hearts out for the next six months!
Check and re-dial in your gear
You are at the top of your first line for the season and get ready to strap in only to remember that your binding strap was broken or your ski boots wouldn't go into ski mode from a incident on your last tour six months ago. Before the beginning of each season it's crucial to go through all of your gear to make sure first of all you have everything and second that everything is in working order. Tighten screws, wax your skis, re-organize your pack, check batteries and make sure your beacon is working properly, and even re-waterproof your gear if you need to. Go through everything twice just to make sure when you go out for your first day of the season you know that you have all the things that you need.
Get ready to have some fun
We do it because we love it. We love it because it is fun! Live life, have fun!