It's 5 am and I'm being rudely slapped awake by my alarm.
Rolling out of bed with my ski socks already on, I’m ready for a few days chasing untouched snow in the backcountry of the Rocky Mountain Range. Seems like a pretty good reason for this early rise. As soon as the coffee stops dripping into my cup I’m out the door and on the way to pick up the rest of the crew. This is the kind of crew who can easily justify letting their 9-5’s take a backseat to a few days of fresh snow and mountain air. Our packs are full of only the essentials: bacon, eggs & whiskey. Ok ok, there are a few more things than that but not by much. Anxious to get moving, we do a quick beacon check at the trailhead, and then we’re on our way up the mountain.
Two hours later, the chimney of our home for the next few days peeks through the pines and with a few more strides up the trail we’ve arrived at our new digs. At first glance, the windswept peaks are stunning. We’ve found ourselves in one of the many sun-filled valleys of the Rocky Mountains. Swinging open the door to the hut we throw our poles down and bask in the feeling of taking off a heavy pack. We are tired and happy as the sun sets on our first night. As the stars emerge, the stove gets lit, the fireplace starts to roar, and the whiskey comes out. A few rowdy card games later we can barely keep our eyes open and slowly slouch into our sleeping bags. The hut falls silent except for the crackle of the fire lulling us to sleep.
As the stars emerge, the stove gets lit, the fireplace starts to roar, and the whiskey comes out. A few rowdy card games later we can barely keep our eyes open and slowly slouch into our sleeping bags.
Each morning the slow whistle of the kettle serves as our wake up call and the ritual of coffee, boots, and bacon begins. Halfway out the door, I turn back and make sure to grab my phone, which had been charging overnight via my Nomad PowerPack. Just in case, I toss the extra battery in my pack and with that I know I’m fully dialed. We all step into our set-ups, grab a quick swig of water and head for the hills.
On the first shuffle up the skin track, the shift starts to happen. The squeaking of ski boots and jokes flying back and forth from the front of the group to the back and I think to myself, this is why we’re here. Adventures like this seem so far away, especially when we’re in the middle of traffic and the daily grind, but the truth is they’re as close as we make them. There’s a lot to be learned from throwing only the bare essentials into a backpack and trekking far into the mountains with the people you care about. It turns out all those things we think we can’t live without really are just distractions from the things that bring us real happiness.
Adventures like this seem so far away, especially when we’re in the middle of traffic and the daily grind, but the truth is they’re as close as we make them.
As the first rider of the group yells “DROP”, we all watch as sprays of powder shoot across the snow. Suddenly,a chorus of stoke erupts from the crew. This is what makes the trip worthwhile—this is what makes any trip worthwhile. We had the chance to focus on the joy that drifts through the air in the mountains and to remember that the simplest things are often the ones that make us the freest.
We had the chance to focus on the joy that drifts through the air in the mountains and to remember that the simplest things are often the ones that make us the freest.
Erik Gordon, pictured above, is the owner of Carabiner Coffee and Carabiner Media Co. Carabiner's ethically sourced coffee keeps the Nomad HQ in SB powered up and ready to go. In turn our gear keeps Erik powered so he can document all of his amazing adventures. Check out his site for more info and stay tuned for more Nomad and Carabiner Coffee powered adventures on Th e Nomadic.