Life has gotten busy. It's not unusual for me to think that I no longer have time to continue my antics in the mountains. But this thought is always rebuffed by the fear of what my life would be without my antics in the mountains. So, I will need to figure out a way to cope with the chaotic lifestyle of a working man who wants to travel efficiently through the mountains, and be a good dad and husband.
You should see the inside of my Subaru. I change clothes in my Subaru more than I do in my own house. In my Subaru, one will find soap, shampoo, a hair dryer, contact solution, a towel or two, clothing for when it's hot, clothing for when it's wet, clothing for looking professional, ski boots, skis, ski poles, road running shoes, trail running shoes, Gu gel, Gu drink powder, sunglasses, goggles, backpacks, visors, hats, a headlamp or two, helmet, avalanche beacon, shovel, probe, heart monitor straps for Suunto and Garmin, and sometimes a baby safety seat. And these are just the staple items. On top of the staple items are all the weird stray items, some of which get cleaned up, but some of which just stray. Stray items include, a titanium piton (yeah Harder, it's yours), ski leashes, cable TV bill from April 2012, a half-eaten Gogurt, shoelaces, Ritz crackers that fell out of the package and got stomped on in the back seat, canister of stove fuel, 8-10 water bottles of various type and size, my in-the-car glove hanging dryer, a power inverter, iPhone charger, Blackberry charger, weird USB charger/cord thingy, and charged and uncharged batteries. And the tangible is more than what is visible. Earlier this week, I dug into some smoked salmon while I was driving down Big Cottonwood Canyon. Apparently, not all of it made it into my mouth because the interior of my Subaru smells like rotting fish. Of course, because of the crumbs and splotches on my center console, instrument console, and dashboard, I wouldn't be able to tell what is rotting fish or what is the Coke/sandwich/gummy bear of yester-year.
If my Subaru is an emblem of my life, I am in trouble. It is the antithesis of serenity.
Last week I worked about 125 hours and didn't even set foot in a ski boot, a running shoe, or the mountains. This week I skied a solid 15 hours (maybe more) and climbed over 30,000 vertical feet. Yesterday, I watched my four-year old scrunch into a tuck, attempt to ski through bushes like his dad, older brother and sister, eject and bury himself in a snowbank. He cried because his hands and face were freezing. I took him to the car, which I started and left running while I went to round up older sister and brother. I found sister crying in the snow because the rope tow rope had smacked her in the face and gave her a nice rope burn on and under her nose.
This morning, I met Chad and Eric at the Big Cottonwood mouth at 6:30 sharp. I drank a Coke, but was dozing a little bit as I pulled into the Brighton parking lot. In 2 hrs and 30 minutes, in a full-on blizzard, and with some good company and conversation, I banged out 5,000 vertical feet. Then I rushed home to be at my kids' Christmas cello concert at the university by 11:00.
Sometimes I wonder if serenity is found in chaos. Because sometimes chaos is strangely satisfying.