Is winter here already? It sure seems like it. The Black Dike has been climbed. The Sherby and the Cog have been skied. Wildcat and Killington are both open. And while some of our favorite places aren’t quite “in” yet, here’s a few of the things we’re thinking about as we transition from bikes and climbing shoes to skis and crampons.
1. Get your gear in order. Tune your skis, check your bindings and skins, and put some fresh batteries in your beacon. Sharpen your tools too. Not sure where to start, check out these two goEast pieces we wrote last winter (ski, ice).
2. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: first aid matters. If you’re heading into the backcountry this winter, consider taking a wilderness first course or, if you already have, spending a few hours refreshing the skills.
3. Pick some objectives you’re excited about, research them, then go get them. Need some suggestions? Check out these Northeast classics: Shoestring Gully, the Lion Head Winter Route, the Cog on Mt. Washington, Mt. Moosilauke’s Carriage Road, or Mt. Cardigan’s Duke and Alexandria ski trails.
4. After months of running around in shorts and a tee shirt, it’s time to think about wearing multiple layers again. Before heading into the mountains take a few minutes to brush up on your layering systems. This is also the perfect time for washing and retreating your gear, so dig out the Nikwax.
5. Don’t get complacent during the in-between season. It’s easy to lose hard-earned fitness while you wait for the snow to stack up and ice lines to form. Need some inspiration (or just a kick in the ass) consider taking a fall trip somewhere warm like hiking in Arches and Canyonlands, mountain biking in Moab, or take a bouldering trip to the Southeast (like Tim and his wife just did).