Life has been bustling with activity recently, with my work at Dartmouth Journal Services in Waterbury consuming a large chunk of my time. However, it has its perks, such as a seemingly endless supply of Green Mountain Coffee – a definite necessity in the heart of a Vermont winter.
New Year’s arrived with resolutions and new beginnings, and yet, my blog remained somewhat neglected. Winter started with an abundance of snow, but as we moved into January, a thaw swept through, seemingly erasing all of December’s heavy snowfall. Watching the once-frozen waterfalls along the rock outcroppings on 89 disintegrate in the unseasonably warm weather was disheartening. But on January 14th, we saw the return of winter’s blanket, reviving my hopes for the season.
This ski season has been a learning experience. Gone are my college days and the generous discounts that came with them. Now, I’m living the life of a frugal skier, trading the luxurious $8.00 clam chowder in a bread bowl for a humble PB&J sandwich and a can of PBR.
Embracing frugality, however, also meant embracing hard work. The weekend before the thaw, I embarked on an expedition that was a series of firsts for me:
- Hiking a mountain
- In winter
- In the snow
- Laden with 60 lbs of camera gear, skis, boots, and other essentials
An arduous, yet exhilarating hike up the 3,000+ foot tall (omitted) was the setting of this new adventure. The preparations began the previous night, with careful selection of essentials to keep my pack light – easier said than done as I ended up packing a full range of camera gear, three pairs of wool socks, and a well-stocked first aid kit.
The expedition commenced at 4:30 a.m, a quick breakfast, a rendezvous with Nick LaCour, and an (omitted) hour journey (omitted) to the trailhead. The hike, spanning two hours and a mile and a half, was a challenging yet rewarding ordeal, especially the part where we hiked through a frozen creek bed.
The uphill ascent was both a test of endurance and a tease. Passing by swathes of untouched snow stirred a sense of eager anticipation within me – like a kid waiting impatiently for Christmas. Upon reaching the top, we were greeted by a mesmerizing view just as the golden hour set in. There, atop the mountain, we enjoyed a humble meal that tasted like a gourmet feast against the backdrop of the expansive vista stretching out from Vermont into Canada.
After a change of clothes and gear, we were ready to embrace the thrilling descent, a rewarding finale to our uphill journey. This unique experience served as a reminder that frugality does not necessarily mean sacrificing the thrill of the experience – it just requires a bit of extra effort.