Fall – A Season to Anticipate Winter – and Skiing!

By TRAVIS GOODKIND

There’s nothing quite like fall in Montana.

You can’t taste it or smell it, but you can definitely feel it. Temps drop below freezing at night, days get shorter and darker, and the leaves start to fall. We slowly start to put away our bikes and kayaks as the peaks start looking whiter and whiter. We finally get to wear pants again, along with our favorite cozy clothing. Sometimes we even look forward to spending a lazy weekend at home with hot cocoa and warm soup.

Fall is the perfect transition to winter, our favorite season.

Nothing matches the collective anticipation we all share for winter, and more importantly, skiing. And, believe it or not, it all starts as early as August. That’s when the ski magazine gear guide issues hit your mailbox. It’s when all of the ski movie trailers hit your inbox or Facebook wall. If you weren’t thinking about skiing in August, you are now. If only there were something to tide us over until the chairlifts spin…

There is.

An endless parade of ski movie premieres come to town from September to November. From big mountain skiing, to urban jibbing, to snowboarding, to tele turning. There is a movie for everyone, and you always leave the theater more excited to ski. Ski movies provide the stoke we have all been lacking since last season, and just in time.

As early as Labor Day, ski shops hold preseason sales and people stop in just to ogle the latest and greatest gear for the upcoming season. We throw down hard-earned cash for a season pass. Plans are made for big pow trips. It’s all starting to come together. The anticipation is at an all-time high.

All there is left to do is to pray for snow. Parties take place all over the world sacrificing old ski equipment to the snow gods. Regardless of the amount of snow that has yet to fall, a pray for snow party is really about swapping stories and remembering seasons past with friends and family.

 

A small sacrifice to the snowgods.

Many folks look to winter as the start, or end, to their current employment cycle. Some work tirelessly to save up so they can be unemployed during the winter in order to ski every day. Others look forward to working at a ski resort or ski shop.

Now is the time to grab and beer and retreat to the garage or basement. There’s important work to be done. Your boards must be finely tuned and freshly waxed. You never know when the first turns will be coming. Be ready.

So, let’s all raise our glasses to Ullr. May this winter be our favorite of all time. Cheers.

While we wait for the flakes to fly, here is a little more ski porn for your enjoyment:

 

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Travis Goodkind is the owner of the Missoula business Backcountry Racks & Skis. The Vermont native moved out west after college 10 years ago in pursuit of bigger mountains and has never left. He spends his free time exploring Montana’s mountains, trails, and rivers with wife Julie, son Asher, and black lab Pika. Check out his blog, Backcountry Freeskier, for more powdery goodness.