It’s the end of April, and though it may be a chilly day in NYC, it is definitely springtime. The trees are blooming, sidewalk cafes are open, and my allergies are raging. (yay!) As exciting as this all is, it also marks the official end to the North American ski season. For those of us who don’t live near a late season resort like Snowbird in Utah or Arapahoe Basin in Colorado, our snowboards are now zipped up in a bag and stored away. Doomed to collect dust. In the garage at my husband’s parents’ house. This make me sad not only because snowboarding is truly the one sport I’m actually good at, but also because the beauty and grandeur of snow capped mountains and icy sculptures are becoming harder and harder to find as the days get warmer.
Fall Creek Gorge in Cornell University in Ithaca, New York
Don’t get me wrong, though. I am excited for the upcoming summer, which undoubtedly will be filled with mountain hiking and some water sports.I went to college in the upstate New York, where one quickly learns to appreciate the warm days as they few and far between. But still, I appreciate a view of a mountain range covered in white snow, or the juxtaposition of jagged ice protruding from a snow blanket. Perhaps I’ll need to jump on a plane and head down to Portillo, Chile to get my fix of snow and ski lifts before the summer’s out.
Speaking of Portillo, here it is as we passed by in our trans-Andes bus ride from Mendoza to Valparaiso. You know, the one when I got detained at the border. That one. From the bus, the snow peaks seemed to go on forever in every direction. Sharp pointed peaks, sloped rounded peaks, valleys filled with snow and shimmering ice. It was a beautiful bus ride which will be forever remembered for the views as well as my border detention.
Similar to the Andes of Chile, the mountains of northern Patagonia in Argentina also would be a good place for me to head off to. On The Trip, we headed to Bariloche for a week-long snowboarding extravaganza. Sadly were delayed by an enormous snow storm passing over the resort which wouldn’t die down for days. Though it would dump many many centimeters of snow for us to play in, it made for a wet and dreary introduction to the area.
can’t be mad when this is the end result of said snow storm.
Honestly though, I may not get down south this summer. But, at least I have the excitement of planning a trip out to the western US in 2013. And there’s plenty of places to choose from. The Rocky Mountains and Sierra Nevada Mountains are rife with ski resorts of beautiful vistas of endless mountains as well. I wish I lived closer to these amazing places, but I feel lucky to have visited and snowboarded here. And it’s a relatively short plane ride from New york, all things considered.
Here is one of my favorites. Durango. Durango is a town in southwestern Colorado. It is well off the main ski trail from Denver, so lines aren’t too long and the slopes don’t get too crowded. This view of the mountains, from the Durango Mountain Resort itself, are worth the trip alone.
Over in my home state of California, the Sierra Nevada Mountains house Donner Lake. It sits in a valley in the middle of some gorgeous peaks and popular ski resorts. Like Sugar Bowl, my favorite of all time.
Even though these places are among the premier snowy places in the world, I could not possibly write this article without speaking of the Himalayas. This mountain range is the king of all mountain ranges. On today’s earth, the Himalayas stand as the tallest mountains in the world, being host to Mount Everest. In the region around Everest, no roads have spoiled the natural terrain and natural pathways that lead to the high peaks. Small villages sit perched on cliffs like crackers on silver platters, in the shadows of enormous rocky mountains. The valleys are wrapped in walls of snow and ice, and on a clear day, one can see everything in all directions.
In the summer time, a complete transformation occurs as most of the snow melts off these peaks, leaving them in various shades of greens and browns. Another beautiful sight, but in a completely different way. In some places where the peaks are high enough, however, little patches of white might stay through the summer until the snow returns. Promising another season of snow. And freedom for my poor dusty snowboard.
Summertime at Mt Shasta, California
The Routeburn Track, New Zealand