What is your mantra, your chant, your maxim, your catchphrase? What goes through your head after you’re done with the ascent, strip off your climbing skins, and ski down? Do you sing to yourself? Pray? Simply repeat “left-right-left-right?”
Or, what’s your mantra on the uphill?
Me, during the descent I tend to do a running dialog with myself, based on intense observations of what’s going on around me: Is that difficult snow up ahead? Trend left here to avoid that avalanche trigger zone! Open it up. Shut ‘er down.
But when the going is easy, say while doing rhythmic linked turns in consistent powder, sometimes a song will run through my head, often something I’ve heard recently, could be nearly anything with up lyrics but I like mountain related songs. For example, I’m recently enjoying John Anderson’s “Song the Mountain Sings.” A bit of web browsing for mantras also brought me “do it for love.” I’m going to remember that one and use it.
(originally in Hinduism and Buddhism) a word or sound repeated to aid concentration in meditation.
– A Vedic hymn.
– A statement or slogan repeated frequently.
– Words repeated audibly or inaudibly while making a ski descent after climbing under human power.
In any case, I sent out an email to a few friends to prime the pump. Readers, please leave a comment with your mantra, humorous or serious, have fun.
– “Yahoo!” G.
– “I HOPE THIS HOLDS.” C.
– “Relax, breathe, believe.” S.
– “Jimi Hendrix ‘Little Wing’.” J.
– “Move your ass and the skis will follow.” L.
– “Don’t ski faster, but at a higher rate of speed.” T.
– “Weight underside.” B.
– “Free falling, Tom petty.” D.
– “Being in the present moment.” S.
– “Every time the snow hits my chest or face I am remember I am living.” H.
– “I think about how strange that world is. Here alone at 4-5am in the pure nature, cold snow and fresh air like it has been thousands of years. And when I take a breath from that beautiful moment I look into the valley and see the lights. And then think about the madness I will dive into in less than an hour. And then I think, hopefully we will be able to keep these islands of beauty for many generations to come.” B.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.