It isn’t like I’ve accomplished much in the side country or back country for that matter, in my four seasons of snowboarding. But there are a few boot packs back home that make my heart skip a beat. There is something about a hike, a session of heavy breathing, hauling a board on your back up terrain as steep as stairs. When sustained for an elevation gain that seemed just out of reach when you began, a level of catharsis can be reached unlike anything else in life. You put your head down, you push and climb, you sweat it out, and after you reach the top, strap in and teeter on the crest of the drop. You collect your reward. If your lucky enough to have company, you bond with your partner in a very special way. As Louis said after our run behind Captains, on our hike out following the cat track, “here’s to the Mongolians for inventing skiing”, I second that.