A couple weeks ago in this space, The Adventurey Report column told a story of a new helicopter operation in Utah that serves ski mountaineers — once they skin to the top of the peak, a chopper picks them up and flies them back to the bottom so they don’t have to be burdened with actually skiing down. The Adventurey Report, of course, is not true, but the piece gets to the heart of one of the more interesting wrinkles in the character of outdoor people: the fact that many of us, if not most of us, prefer either the up or the down, one or the other.
They offer very different experiences, climbing typically associated with the satisfaction of effort, descending more about thrills and rush and adrenalin. In simple terms, one is hard, one is easy, but of course it’s not so simple. Getting in the groove on a long uphill mountain bike climb can feel orders of magnitude easier than an endless rugged descent on an undersuspended bike. And going down can challenge your skills, vision, and athleticism every bit as much as the ascent, if not more so. And at their best, the two are linked, one comes before the other, and you earn what you’ve been given. They are yin and yang, day and night, Oreo and filling,
But at the end of all of it, we usually like one more than the other. Which is it?
WIN SMITH SWAG JUST BY VOTING This week, one poll participant will receive a Smith Optics swag bag — two t-shirts and a hat of your choice. We’ll pick the winner via random number generator (and announce it here) — all you have to do to enter is vote and leave a comment so we have your email to contact you. Must have a U.S. or Canadian address. Contest ends Sunday, August 18, at midnight PST.
Congratulations to Áron Gábor, who wins the Smiths swag!