I did things by simply going out and doing it. Plain & simple.
Made some mistakes along the way, nothing life-threatening but on every trip, I usually learned something or
took notice how something worked or didn't work. I made and continue to make many adjustments when
'winterneering' and now, I always stick to a routine that works for me depending on the seriousness and
particulars of the trip.
Most of the time early on, I ventured out solo and learned on my own. I didn't pick up regular partners until only a few years ago.
However, I will say, books are a valuable resource. And I'm NOT just talking about 'how to' books or guidebooks. Non-fictional books about
others' mountainous exploits are filled
with useful and great beta...plus they're usually a great read in and of themselves!
I have a virtual library here at the house.
I'm JUST NOW taking mountaineering courses to fill in the little gaps and to hammer out the things I do know. And maybe next year, decide to get
certified. We'll see.
Important thing though, I believe 'winterneering' should be taken in steps
. Use progression
. Mistakes and accidents come winter time
are no where as near forgiving as in summer
There's just somethng about being outside in the winter, on the blanket of snow with cold temps threatening you and every detail that's normally benign in the summer,
scheming against you in winter. It just feels more pure, more real...distilling the knowledge you've acquired up to that point and relying on the foundations of that knowledge.
Maybe it's witnessing sights that most people won't.
Perhaps, it's taking a certain amount of pride (quiet certitude)
in yourself that you have 'what it takes' to venture forth
and endure the hardships for those few moments of white beauty.
Maybe it's just a satisfaction of trying to equalize the advantages of your clothing & gear with that of Mother Nature and walking away successful.
Shit, maybe I've been drinking too much...But the views are certainly worth it!
Hey, Fletch...Welcome to Colorado, my man! Just noticed you over at 14ers.com