This has been an odd Winter. Really odd. I’ve experienced 3 Winters since moving to Southwest British Columbia in 2010 and I’m being told that I was spoiled with how amazing they were.

Watching this winter unfold has felt like watching an awkward stage performance on some reality TV show were the individual tries to sing but sounds like someone strangling a cat, at first the fact they can’t sing is humorous, in a schadenfreude kind of way, but eventually you become uncomfortable at the display and wonder why somebody isn’t escorting them off the stage.

Somebody needs to escort this Winter off the stage.

Elephant Snot on my hiking pole

Elephant Snot on my hiking pole

This Winter was going to be The Winter we’d nail skiing, not only resort skiing but backcountry skiing. It’s been a hard activity for us to get good at but we hadn’t really put much effort into it in the past. This Winter we planned to change that. I’d imagined doing midweek night skiing at Cypress Resort, then getting out into the backcountry on the weekends to experience the joys of powder skiing that we’ve heard so much about.

So far, those dreams haven’t materialized. We’ve had a few large dumps of snow broken up by long stretches with no precipitation and the temperature and freezing levels have been really high leading to heavy, wet snow cheerfully referred to locally as “elephant snot”.

We’ll just have to see how things progress as the Winter goes on.

For now it feels like I’m in a holding pattern, waiting for permission to land.

So I thought I’d write a “currently” post, a post about what I’m doing right now instead of planning my ski trips.


reading The Rock Warrior’s Way, I think the title is lame, and I’ve found the writing so far to be pretty verbose, but I’ve seen some great improvements in my own climbing focus from the techniques it recommends so far, so I’ll continue to read it.

loving Sticking dynos at the local bouldering gym. I’m not a fan of gyms in general but climbing indoors is actually pretty fun. Working a problem for a few days and finally sticking that crux dyno move is pretty damn satisfying. I’ve only been at it for a few weeks and I already feel functionally stronger than I have in my whole life.

thinking a lot about Social Media and Networks. I’m always on this knife edge between loving and hating it. I love that it gives me a medium to inspire people to get outdoors, but when I see people in the wild staring at their phones, holding them up looking for reception, I wonder if I’m actually part of the problem. I put more mental time into this quandary than you might think.

feeling anxious about skiing. I want to be good at it, but I don’t want to get injured in the process of learning it. The movements just haven’t been clicking and I still feel uncomfortable with going fast. I’m still waiting for that eureka moment.

inspired by Kilian Jornet. The man is a machine. I love his ethic towards endeavours of the human body and spirit.

watching almost no movies or fiction. I haven’t had cable for a while. I surf youtube and vimeo occasionally and watch documentaries about climbing, skiing and adventures. What Jorgesen and Caldwell have been doing on The Dawn Wall in Yosemite had me hooked. I’ve been mulling over the questions raised in the documentary “Steps” for a while.

working on working. I’ve been “between” paying jobs for a while. I call it sabbatical. It’s a relatively low stress situation as we need very little to live. Even though we get out a lot, the cost of our adventures are pretty low now that we own all our own equipment. I’d still like to get working again though. I have dreams of living out of a van, selling prints of my photos, climbing all summer, skiing and ice climbing all winter. The Dream…

looking forward to those moments in the future when something that scares me now will eventually feel as comfortable to me as crossing the street.

grateful for Spring, most people will never know just how strong she is and the depth of her kindness.

listening to the sounds of the forest at last. I’ve finally given up headphones on my trail runs, it was a crutch for me for a while. It feels so good now to let my mind reset without the need for music. I do like putting on Pretty Lights at the bouldering gym though, it drowns out the primal grunts from the others apes swinging around in there.

eating less gluten, less dairy, less grains, less processed sugar. In the last few months I’ve given up boxed cereals, carton fruit juices and most chocolates. I still need to phase out biscuits, but I’m already eating gluten free bread and loving it. My mind is clear and I have an abundance of energy. I’m active 7 days a week now and I seldom feel tired.

wishing that an old climbing dirtbag with an immaculate VW Westfalia will randomly pass the keys for it to me in the street and whisper “the torch is now yours to carry”. If only.

Skiing at Red Heather Meadows

Skiing at Red Heather Meadows

What’s going on with you currently?

Author: Leigh McClurg

I grew up in County Dublin, Ireland and moved to British Columbia, Canada with my wife in 2010. I fell in love with being in the Backcountry and Mountains that are all around me here and try to spend all of my free time exploring those wild places. My main goals are to chase happiness, see as much of this planet and its cultures as possible and grow every day through knowledge and experiences.

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  1. I love all of this. I love your positivity, I love that you are really engaged with your life and your surroundings. I love that you’re taking the time to acknowledge so many wonderful things that are happening. Great things are meant to come to those who are always thinking about the great things they already have and the great things they are looking forward to. Cheers!

    -Kayla B.

    Post a Reply
    • Thank you Kayla. I love the title of your blog also.

      I also agree about the sentiment in your post. Every day should be seen as an opportunity to grow.

      Post a Reply

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