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Summit up

SUMMIT UP

Welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column trying to get in the groove on the mountain.You know how it is in November: The season kicks off with a fresh dump, you decide to hit the hill and you’re rummaging around the house trying to find both gloves, both boots, your board(s), ski pants and jacket, hat, goggles – where do the goggles go in the summer, some beach in the Bahamas? – and all the other sundries before your roommates peel out of the parking lot and leave you sitting in the living room with one sock on.Once in the car the mind starts to race. Where’s my pass? Where’re my poles? (One Summit Up staffer forgot those on opening day at Loveland and didn’t realize it until the trunk was open in the ski area parking lot). We made it out the door with the basic necessities donned or tucked under our arms and into our pockets. It wasn’t until we finished the hike up Baldy that we started to lose our groove. After an hour-plus hike, the anticipation of our first backcountry line in about a foot of fresh powder scrambled us up a bit.Oh, we went through the checklist: Skins off, goggles on, poles adjusted, powder skirt snapped, backpack zipped, beacon definitely still blinking … what are we forgetting? Never mind. We dove down the gentle slope and immediately took a face-digger … and another … and another… and another. Geez, these new boots are tight, we thought, as we ate more snow. Geez, we’re outta shape, we thought, as our ski companion waited. Geez, our legs are burning like they’ve been dipped in a boiling pot of water, we thought, as we lay on our back in a fluffy, down-like cushion of snow and stared at the sky.Fifteen hundred grueling feet later, we stopped at the car. That’s when our ski companion reminded us of what we forgot. “Hey man, your risers are up.”MILLIONS OF SUMMIT UP READERS: “Duh!”For those who don’t know about risers, they’re helpful when going uphill on skis to lift the heel and make climbing easier. To see what it’s like to ski downhill on risers, don a pair of 5-inch stiletto heels, slip into your bindings and try to keep yourself upright.Not an easy feat, but neither is getting it together on the season’s first powder day.***It’s Tuesday, which has nothing to do with the numerical 2, or does it? Let us know at summitup@summitdaily.com, fax at (970) 668-0755 or just give us a history lecture on the voicemail at (970) 668-3998, ext. 237.We’re out, preparing for our next backcountry trek …


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