Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Circle of Life

Me and JD (photo by CJ W)
The skiing has come and gone...8 months in a flash.  I went up with brother JD and his buddy CJ to ski Suicide Chute a couple days ago.  We only had to walk about 8 steps on dirt before reaching "snow" on the slowly melting Superior apron.  In the chute, we found mild runnels, a now double fall line, scattered rocks, and a persistent cornice. The skiing was, as it always is, thoroughly enjoyable.  
I skied in short running shorts and tucked my jacket in them (a la Jared Inouye) to keep my skins from falling out as I didn't even carry a pack.  JD was in the customary tights and CJ was bashing his uncovered knees on the ice while making wild tele turns.  I didn't know the man, but it felt like an appropriate way to honor Bean Bowers, who at the end of this tribute, gives some great life advice...

"... and this week I’m just really appreciating life. Friends, health, the colors in the sky…. The experience was simply a vivid reminder that all is good and mundane and seemingly going your way until suddenly it is not, and then luck or the lack thereof steers our inevitable destiny. I am taking my winnings to go live fully through a few more, and trying hard to remind myself to keep it nonmundane and dynamic, always. Go do something wild today."

Not very wild, but it was the best we could muster on a week night with work early the next morning. My imagination is another story as I now shift my attention to long climbs and long running. Both of which will hopefully leave me better prepared for next season.

But for now, I'm left pondering the last 8 months and near countless days on snow. And, although many goals were left unfulfilled, other accomplishments, both planned and otherwise, have left me feeling supremely blessed. Blessed to have seen and gone to these wild places that we chase and to have gone there with so many solid partners.

So thanks to all 40+ of you who this last year made moving through the mountains that much more fun.

Here's my top ten list for the year. It's just a simple list of my favorite days. Links provided if available, specifically to other sites so my partners can share their perspective. Enjoy!
Honorable Mention: Too many to even mention.

10. Timp Traverse: here and here

9.  Roger's Pass: here and here

8.  Pfeifferhorn, NE Face or the Pfeifferhorn N Ridge ...can't decide.

6.  High Sierra - Split Mountain, Split Couloir

3.  Hulk Hogum, here and here

2.  Grand Teton Speed, here and here and here

1.  4/1/11: The day that for sure will change my life more than any of these others.  The day Jessie told me that we are expecting our first child.  A lot of you are great role models and have stated without reservation that kids enrich one's life more than any of this other stuff.  We've since found out it's a boy and we are torn on names.  Any suggestions?  

Can't wait till next year...

And to those of you who run in the SLC area, we are running most evenings around 6.  And by we, I mean the newly minted, four member, Sugar House Track Club.  


  1. Any suggestions on names??? Lars Jason Dorais

  2. A really beautiful Bean reference. As for the child, may I suggest, "Mount Timagonos Dorias," I think such a boy would really fit in at public school.

  3. Miles Andrew Dorais

  4. real quick - stumbled upon your blog/site/whateves this spring and have stared, slack jawed, at your posts on a regular basis. i love to do what you and your buds do, but i have to admit to a much (much!) more pedestrian pace. if you saw any faint tracks in Suicide, those were likely from me and my buddy. we ski at least once/month and did that line just a few days before your post. since i'm a brand new dad myself, i decided to comment here. congrats! trust me, you can't wait to pop the Little Dude in a pack and take him out to the hills. the gnar level may come down a notch, but the warm fuzzy feeling of taking your boy on little adventures cannot be beat!

  5. To Anonymous,

    I loved your comment! I'm already getting excited to take mr. no name yet dorais out on little adventures. Saw your tracks that day for sure. Thanks for smoothing out the rocks and the bumps!