A dizzying snow reflected inches in front of my face as my touring partner and I ascended toward the top of our line. Finally, the snow was starting to fly in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, after a sluggish start to the season.
But in an attempt to beat the inevitable switch to rain, we had decided to skin up in the middle of the night. And despite it being nearly mid-January, a lack of natural snow had limited our options to skiing manmade snow at Wildcat Mountain, where we hoped the snow would continue for a bit longer due to its higher elevation.
As ski touring technology advances and skiers’ interest in exploring outside of ski resorts heightens, our winters continue to get shorter and warmer. In fact, according to recent reports released by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the past eight years were the hottest on record.
That leaves backcountry skiers and riders waiting longer for their season to start and ending much earlier than in the past.