MOUNTAIN LIFE - Coast Mountains | Winter / Spring 2021

19 FEET FIRST EDITOR'S MESSAGE Mike Henitiuk, rider on the storm. MASON MASHON Let the record show—a shitstorm is still a storm. It’s also worth noting that here in the Coast Mountains, we weather many storms. Heck, for half the year, we hope for them—those massive spirals of moisture, wind, and weird kinetic energy that roll in off the mighty Pacific to hammer angrily into the coastline, peaks, and towering cedar forests as though there’s a score to settle. We love those storms, the bigger, the better. Not so much the shoveling of the plowed-in driveway or city drivers with the wrong tires, but those annoyances are a small price to pay for the chance to glide effortlessly on the fruits of all that blustery, wintry mayhem, those frozen angel tears of bliss; snow born from chaos to bring us peace, perspective, and first laps on Harmony. We love it. We thrive in it, and when necessary, we wait for it—hunkered in a tent or cabin, at home by the fire, or staring wistfully at Peak Chair—biding our time while the chaos dissipates into those sparkling-jewel bluebird pow days that don’t come often, but always come eventually. Those are the good storms, the reasons we persevere through the dark, frozen months—months made a bit darker these days by another storm that’s been percolating since almost this time last year. Around here we have it much, much better than most—we are never far from solitude and the relative social safety of the wilds. We are a tight community that still cares for each other—when one gets bogged down, there are many who will help dig them out. We will do what we always do with storms: weather them together, with the promise of good times ahead—the sun will come out tomorrow, or maybe next week. Spring is coming. Certainly the past 12 months have been difficult, but hard times reveal firm truths and real character. The person who faces a storm head-on will not be the same when it abates—we emerge with new perspective, if nothing else. So let’s do what we mountain lifers do best: stay alert, read the landscape, consider the outcomes, and find a safe way home. A big storm can blind us, obscure the path, and cloud judgement. Being caught out in storm can feel like plunging blindly into a swirling abyss of uneven, uncertain, and uncontrollable reality—danger. That is happening right now, is still happening, and though this pandemic shitstorm is not what we are used to, let’s not forget that we are accustomed to storms, we thrive in them, and we know what to do: pick a line, ride it out, and be sure to give a hoot and a holler so everyone knows they’re not alone in the madness and we’re all on the same damn ride.