What to Do if Snow is Ruining Your Summer Plans

The snow is stubborn this year—it’s caused race cancellations (Hardrock 100), caused lots of PCT thru-hikers to choose to hike SOBO, and kept many trails closed. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing! More snow means less wildfire threat, less drought threat, and more time for snow-themed activities!

But it’s also mid-July and the presence of snow can be a bit frustrating for summer folks. Here’s a list of things you can do to embrace the white stuff instead of bemoaning its prolonged existence.

Keep skiing.

This summer has had one of the longest ski seasons in history. And even if the lifts are no longer open, there’s still a good amount of backcountry skiing to be found. And skiing is kind of like hiking, only you get down the mountain faster!

…in a bathing suit.

Hey, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em! It’s summer, after all. Skiing in a bathing suit is funny, and then you’ll be ready to jump right into the river or lake at the bottom of the hill.

Build snow hikers.

Building rock cairns on the side of the trail—bad. Building cute little snowmen and snowwomen on the side of the trail to make other hikers laugh—good.

Work on your tan (and sunscreen-wearing skills).

If you never knew this, snow is incredibly reflective. So if getting tan is your thing (wearing lots of sunscreen, we hope), acquire your summer tan in an unusual way—in the snow! Because everyone gets a boring beach tan.

Glissade all day long.

Glissade (n): a way of sliding down a steep slope of snow or ice, typically on the feet with the support of an ice axe. In other words, you can take that pesky snowfield standing in the way of your dry trail and turn it into your personal playground! Just be sure to stay safe and have an ice axe with you to stop your slide.

Practice self-control.

We know firsthand how hard it is to abandon goals, especially when you can see the summit right over there! But when your trail is covered in snow and you don’t have an ice axe or microspikes, this is where you need to turn around. A summit attempt isn’t worth getting lost or having a dangerous fall. Practice self-control, turn around, go back to your car, then reward yourself for making a responsible decision.

Go to the desert.

Do you know where there isn’t any snow? The desert. Pack up your car or board a plane and head to the land of sand and sun! After a few days with no shade or respite from the heat, you’ll be ready to head back to the snowy mountains.

Tanya Twerdowsky

I am a Jersey girl living in Alabama who loves to run far and eat lots.

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