May 28, 2014

Memorial Day

Memorial Day

For me, the 2013-2014 winter began and now ends with Mammoth: a Thanksgiving opening and a Memorial Day close. Yes, in terms of snowfall, this year ranks easily among the most dismal in memory, and yes, too, not a single peak in my projects folder saw daylight, but in the absence of backcountry snow, it was a family-focused ski year for me, and a great one at that.

I'm not sure I was quite mercenary enough to realize that by turning my toddlers into skiers, I'd be vastly increasing my own time on snow, but boy that's sure how it worked out. From diapers and leashes and magic carpets we've gone to a boy who can run with daddy's pack on the Dropout Chutes and a girl who just made her first descent of Cornice Bowl.

Perfect weather made for perfect spring skiing at Mammoth over the holiday weekend, prompting many smiles but also, for me, much reflection. This past year hasn't been an easy one—and not just for lack of snow. I've been thinking a lot about what is really important—what I hope for, for my family, and myself.

Life seems intent on reminding me how truly short our time is. As ski seasons pass, so too do the seasons of our lives. How are we to spend our time wisely? I do not have an answer. But I do believe we should be willing to sacrifice, and we should be willing to live. Only by doing both can we hope to give meaning to our lives—and honor the sacrifices of those who came before.

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About SierraDescents

When there is snow, SierraDescents is Andy Lewicky's California backcountry skiing and mountaineering website. Without snow, sierradescents becomes an ill-tempered hiking and climbing blog.

Pray for snow.