We finally had our first freeze over the weekend. Snow flurries reportedly fell in the area too. By Monday, my Facebook feed was full of photos and videos of folks hitting the opening day of Killington (the earliest resort to open in the entire country) or backcountry stashes across the far north. And yesterday, the Black Dyke on Cannon Cliff saw its first ascent- the unofficial start of winter in the northeast. (Congrats by the way to Majka & Alexa! Not only did they grab the first ascent this year, but I believe they are the first all women’s team to grab the first ascent of the season.) Then today, the high temps topped out above 70. It was a gorgeous day for fall rock climbing.
And I just mopped.
For one, I’m just getting over being sick, so I am way behind in work. (Not to mention that pesky illness ruined my plans to attend this year’s climbing film fest). But very soon, it will be November. And quite frankly, I hate November.
November is part of the dreaded ‘shoulder season.’ Too cold to rock climb, not quite cold enough and not enough snow for skiing. Around Halloween, I put the rock climbing gear away and take up waiting for snow and the start of ski season with the eagerness that would rival a child waiting for the arrival of Santa. It’s usually a long dreary wait that often exceeds my thin reserves of patience.
The other shoulder season is in the spring. But at least April has the decency to yield amazing backcountry corn harvests if you are willing to trek for them. Most Aprils, I put the skis away one weekend, grab out the gear and start rock climbing again the next.
But not November. Oh no, not November.
November is just 4 dreary, dread-filled weeks of nothing but watching the days get ridiculous short.
November makes me cranky. Surly, even.
And this year its worse. Because this year, it started a month early.
Owing to the time away I’ve taken away to look after my husband in the wake of his accident and subsequent rehab, I’ve hardly climbed in the last couple of months. I started off the season on such a strong note- I had high hopes for making a lot of progress. In the end, I don’t think I’ve completed a single “goal” climb this season. Starting next season with the same goals as this one is kind of depressing and hasn’t left me interested in making the most of the what’s left of the season. In fact, I’m quite content to close the book on this season and start on the next winter season. If only the weather would cooperate!
How about you? How do you handle the beautiful nightmare of the shoulder season???