While most have put away the skis by now, snow season for me is just starting. I pretty much said “screw it” to the ski season this year and didn’t touch snow until today. The OC class held its snow travel technique class at Hurricane Ridge. In the interest of doing a little refresher practice as well as helping out where I could, I tagged along.

The sky was partly cloudy and not as chilly as I thought. I forgot I knew how to dress for this weather and how to stay warm. It was nice to wield the ice axe and mountaineering boots again, neither of which have seen the light of day since last May. It was even better to find out that my skills weren’t completely rusty and I still know how to self-arrest with my axe in a variety of positions (including on stomach head first, backwards head first and sitting up right).

I wasn’t sure about my teaching skills though – but I heard through the grapevine that the instructor felt that I was learning just as much from my own teaching as the students were, as I seem to learn better through hands-on vs. verbal instruction. Shew. He hit that spot on.

And it was pretty fun to make sure they were walking right, managing rope right, etc. All my lessons from 2007 were flooding back and I was surprised by how much I remembered. And I felt for the students, remembering being in that position two years ago, clueless and on information overload and wondering, “How am I supposed to remember all this!?” as the imposing mountains towered above me.

But like with anything, now it’s just a matter of putting it all to use. I told myself too I’d get out more this year on the mountains, esp with the class.  And I’ve got a few female climbing partners now, which makes all the difference in the world (sometimes, the testosterone gets a wee bit old in this male-dominated sport – I truly adore and admire the women who do these sports – plus, they’re much better rock climbers. 🙂 ). Finally, I forgot how nice it can be just out there and just focused on kick step, kick step, kick step …