Corn Skiing, Climbing or just relax: how to choose your activity in the heat of the summer

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The thermometer is pushing 80, the trail head just melted out and it has not rained in 24 hours, it must be summer! In most alpine regions, just when the corn cycle peaks for great spring skiing, the will falters and the desire for shorts and lighter footwear tends to prevail. How to accommodate all activities in a day takes good time management, that is the key to enjoying the brief window where you can ski, climb, windsurf, mountain bike, hike or just relax and watch the world go by with a cold beverage in a single day.

At National Outdoor Leadership School, someone told me to do well in the outdoors you need the 7 P’s; Perfect Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance. With this mantra the day before, select the activities you want to do, where each leg will take place, then pack a separate bag for each leg, including the appropriate food and change of clothes. The phase of the planning will require timing each section to match the best conditions.

Skiing should be first, since you need an early start to ski quality corn and gain enough vertical to make it worth your while. The volcanoes in the Northwest offer up to 10,000 feet of skiing but you have to top out on your intended run before 10 AM to guarantee consistent 2-6 inches of easy cruising before it goes to deep slush and starts to slide down the mountain with or without you. Typically a 4-6 AM start will get allow you enough time to accomplish the ski leg of your day, setting you up for a noon return to your car and plenty of time for the next activities.

If you are like me and melt in direct sunlight ( a result of too many powder days), the next event should include some shade, so mountain biking or rock climbing
are often good choices for this time slot. If water sports are your thing then it is another excellent activity to take advantage of the heat of the day.

As with real estate, location, location , location. By late afternoon, the temperature should come down so you can enjoy your last leg, on rock, on a bike or in a chaise lounge with your cold beverage which you rightly deserve! I wish you a fun and safe summer,

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