I loaded a five pound tent on the top of a tiny frameless pack and clipped into my skis and started gliding up the snowmobile road. It was already late in the day and I knew there was a good chance I wouldn’t make it to the ridge until dark so I started moving faster and was soon sweating.

Snow fell lightly so I removed my fleece and stuffed it in my pack and replaced it with my rain jacket.

Where the road hit the trail I switched from ski boots to hiking boots and then walked with my skis in one hand and my poles in the other up the Lamb’s Canyon trail for a few hundred feet before depositing my skis and boots under a tree. I continued the rest of the way on foot, occasionally sinking deeper than my injured achilles appreciated.

The sun was just setting when I reached the ridge between Lamb’s Canyon and Millcreek Canyon and the wind had the snow blowing horizontally. I found a spot under a giant fir tree where a tent would fit and then switched from sopping wet clothes to dry clothes before setting it up.

When I was inside it was dark and only 7:00pm. Winter nights are long.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, I had service, so I texted with friends, made arrangements to hang out the next day. I resisted checking my email. I resisted checking instagram.

It snowed all night but barely. The wind blew consistently. In the morning I woke early and made tea and looked forward to the day ahead.