Short loop in deep winter is better than no loop – Fairbanks Alaska
Nov 27, 2022 at 5:13 pm #3766383AK GranolaBPL Member
Companion forum thread to: Short loop in deep winter is better than no loop – Fairbanks Alaska
It’s not backpacking, but it was light; does that count? At this time of year, getting out is a mental challenge for me…Nov 27, 2022 at 10:57 pm #3766387Ryan JordanAdmin
@ryanLocale: Central Rockies
Totally awesome reflection of what nature can provide to the soul. There’s not one of us here that are “just backpackers”. I really enjoyed this. Thank you.Nov 27, 2022 at 11:00 pm #3766388Ryan JordanAdmin
@ryanLocale: Central Rockies
I was offered a lucrative job in Barrow “a few” decades ago, and declined it because I was terrified of the impact that long hours of darkness had on the mental state. At the time, I also had a young marriage and a young child and Barrow didn’t seem like the ideal place to cultivate either. So this statement you made:
At this time of year, getting out is a mental challenge for me. Not a physical one; I’m always up for movement. But the cold, 5F today, plus the lack of sun makes motivation difficult.
…challenged me. I know so many people who love Alaska, but they also struggle mightily this time of year.
Heck, I’m struggling, and it’s only dark here in Colorado for 14 hours a day!Nov 28, 2022 at 10:30 am #3766409Luke SchmidtBPL Member
Ryan you made the right call I think. Barrow would have been tough. Alaska works well for single folks who can schedule their time around getting outside in good (or not horrific) weather. Not so much a young family. It’s not always easy to give up adventures for family but I’ve never regretted it (and I did regret a few selfishly taken trips).
I worried about it when I moved up here. The solution was to spend every possible moment outside during the summer. In 2019 I started hiking in April (in snow). From May to the end of September I think I spent only one or two weekends at home. And I got out a few times in October. I should note I was single back then. Less responsibility, again not for everyone.
After that kind of craziness it wasn’t so bad to slow down. I’d pick it up again about February when I would ski. By March/April there was more daylight and you could really enjoy the snow. I feel like I’m more intentional with my outside time here because there is a real end to hiking season.Nov 28, 2022 at 4:21 pm #3766444HopearotieBPL Member
Thanks for that read AK Granola. Reading this helps me reflect on the simple things I overlook. It snowed today and as I walk to my car tonight I’ll take the time to listen to that snow under my feet.Nov 28, 2022 at 5:58 pm #3766447jscottBPL Member
@bookLocale: Northern California
Oh My! I’m a musician who wears hearing aids. (I bet I hear better than most reading this.) My loss isn’t anywhere near a significant as your friends. But I think I can feel into her state of mind when hearing snow underfoot for the first time.
Here’s something I stumbled on today:Nov 30, 2022 at 9:59 am #3766549AK GranolaBPL Member
That is the cutest kid ever, wanting his ears on! and then doing a bop. Nothing cuter than kids bopping to music.
I love walking for the thinking time it allows; my cell phone is in airplane mode. I do think it helps me be calmer when awake and sleep better. Ryan, winter darkness Fairbanks-level – and I can’t even imagine Utqiavik – requires a multi-pronged approach. No question it is hard to endure; you were wise to stay in Colorado. I don’t believe people who state that the darkness up here doesn’t affect them, although some people are more affected than others. Everyone celebrates the light in February-March – the season of dazzle!
I use all of these methods to endure winter here: Walking, skiing, strength training, getting enough sleep, minding the amount of alcohol or other drugs (even prescription ones), eating well, getting some social time even if it has to be forced, and most of all light. I use a light box from September through end of January, every morning 15-30 minutes. I have read research that says they are placebo and research that shows they have a significant effect on melatonin. I don’t know the answer, but when I don’t use it, after a few days I definitely feel it in a bad way.
But getting outside is number one. We just had a dip of -25 overnight, and today it’s warming up. Now 5F will feel great!Dec 5, 2022 at 7:10 am #3766913dirtbagBPL Member
Very nice. Love all that snow too. Interesting about that daylight or … no daylight. That snow crunch sound under foot, amazing the little things we take for granted.. i do love hearing that when I walk.
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