Winter playground

As much as I complain about being too cold in the winter, this season is the first time in years that I’ve been really excited about snow!

About 4 years ago (maybe even 5 years, at this point), I bought a bunch of snowboarding gear with the intention to go regularly. Since all of my friends are fearless snow bunnies who can shred runs like no other, I figured I would tag along with them for every trip out to the mountains in hopes of improving my own riding abilities. (Note: I had zero skill to start when I first committed to buying a board. I had been snowboarding once or twice before going all in.) Needless to say, after a couple trips to Mt. Baker and Steven’s Pass, feeling pretty defeated because I couldn’t pick up the coordination skills as quickly as I had hoped, my snowboard sat in the closet for the next couple years collecting dust.

Everything changed in December of 2016! After spending the Spring/Summer goofing around on my fiance’s skateboard, plus my fiance deciding to buy his own snowboarding equipment, we’ve found ourselves on a mountain almost every other weekend for the last two months.

Snoqualmie Summit - snowboarding in Washington
Snoqualmie snowboarding

Although I’m far from “good” at riding, dusting off my snowboard and attempting to learn how to ride again has been really exciting! Something about picking up a sport that once made me feel defeated and then attempting to conquer the core skills years later is really… liberating.

Aside from the outer equipment required for the sport, it’s important to not forget about the inner layers. In the handful of weekends we’ve been on the mountains, the weather has ranged anywhere from 19F to 50F. Staying warm on the runs, while also managing body heat, is super important. Despite keeping the same outer shells (jacket and snow pants) from years ago, an update to my base layers was long overdue.

Thanks to the kind people at Helly Hansen, I was able to test out the latest and greatest in performance material technology with new base layers. I had no idea what to expect given how lightweight the warm freeze 1/2 zip top and dry pant bottoms were compared to my previous gear. I was so surprised at how amazing both pieces were with moisture wicking while insulating in warmth. After taking these out on mountains for both my coldest and warmest runs (and a couple in between), I am truly a believer in investing in a single set of base layers that will work for the spectrum of riding temperatures.

Helly Hansen base layers
Is this not the most darling floral print on a base layer top?
Snoqualmie outtake

Of course, no “sporty” post gets away without a blooper photo! It’s not all sunshine and rainbows on the mountain! After thinking I was ready to graduate from the easy to intermediate runs, I may or may not have spent a large portion of an afternoon eating snow… Oh well! It’s all part of the learning process and I can’t wait to be back in the snow!
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