I’m a little afraid to admit it, but “rookie moves” and “brain farts” still happen to the best of us. Not that I’m saying I’m the best, but still…it’s not my first go around at this stuff either. Forgetting your skins, your ski poles or even leaving your pack at home…I’ve seen it all. It hurts more when you realize what you’ve forgotten when you are hours from home and/or trying to get an alpine start to beat the heat, or even just need the extra hours to get to where you are going. It hurts less when you are just a 20 or so minutes away.
Usually, I pride myself in being uber-organized when prepping for trips into the mountains, especially multiday adventures. I’ll start organizing my gear days before, poking and prodding at it each day, taking stuff out of the pile and putting other stuff in. I’ll have it all laid out so I can see that I’ve got everything, then stuff everything into the pack the night before and only have a few things lingering nearby to shove in in the morning. It’s worked like a charm for me over the years and I can’t remember the last time I spaced something out…until today.
I had planned a 3-day ultra-rad suffer-fest for this week in the Wind River Range. With a 4am departure from Jackson, every hour and minute was going to be needed for the long approach into camp. About an hour and half from Jackson, and half hour until we arrived at the trailhead, I realized I had forgotten my climbing skins. OUCH…a crushing blow!!! Quickly, we turned the rig around and headed back to Jackson to retrieve them, but reality set in and we realized it was a lost cause and the trip would have to be salvaged for later this season. Adding to my forgetting my skins, my partner had gotten food poisoning the night before as well…puking and having diarrhea and adding to the weirdness in the morning.
Sometimes I think it is an omen when this kind of stuff happens and maybe it was today. The Winds have received close to 40” of snow over the past few days and I knew we were pushing things a little by not giving the snowpack time to settle out and stabilized. Plus, the weather forecast changed over the past few days and the original blue-bird forecast slowly turned to mostly cloudy with snow showers. Needless to say, I was too stubborn to listen to all these signs and kept pushing the trip forward. Anyway, maybe me forgetting my skins saved my life, or at least saved us from a long slog only to turn around due to avalanche danger. One will never know, but the one thing I do know…is that I feel like shooting myself in the head right now for being such nimrod and forgetting my skins. Anyway…life goes on I guess.