Have you experienced winter blues/winter depression? It’s more common in our society than you’d think. When our body enters power reserve mode in the short and cold winter days, a fundamental shortage of certain brain chemicals starts to mess with us.
Snowboarding and offroading are the two things that help me cope with Seasonal Affected Disorder. So on this trip, I’m heading to a less known snow resort for the first time, in a 4WD.
Also, my first time ever using a chainsaw, my first time sleeping inside a fully enclosed Rhino-Rack awning. You’ll be surprised how much warmer it is in there.
Bring your snow gear, hop in, let’s go.
Since the COVID protocal kept getting extended, I, like all others here, am stuck in Vancouver. The snowhills close to city center are extremely packed as of lately. Some times the chairlift line up takes more than an hour. People are starting to hike up the hill to ski down. How crazy!
I guess snowboarding/skiing are the few activities that allow people to feel less stranded in this special time – we are under a lot of regulations, especially difficult to absorb as a pro-freedom western society. Plus, in order to keep the distancing rules at the snow resorts, each chairlift only allows people from the same vehicle. That significantly extended the lift wait.
Whistler is one of the well-known big snow resorts around Vancouver. However, there has been a recent COVID outbreak there so I try to stay away. Plus, the popularity of Whistler is making the place too crowded over the years. There are actually so many snow resorts around town, why not go to a less known one and explore the area a little.
I started snowboarding a couple of years ago as a coping for severe winter blues. The next winter, I got myself a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.
With the combination of offroading and snowboarding, I was able to release some stress and pressure from city life.
There something about Vancouver winter that’s unfortunately depressing. Maybe it’s the stressful holidays, the shortened daylight, the lack of sunshine and vitamin D, the rain. When it’s not enough to dive myself in books and go to the gym; when my daily journal starts to be filled with negative thoughts; when my physical health is taking a tow;
when interacting with people feel more dreading than normal, I know something needs to change.
A bridge crossing later, hey! a fallen tree! It has been cut but the distance seemed more like for an ATV. Consider the width of my cruiser, I decided to play it safe – chop a little more. Also, get to try out the Milwaukee electric chainsaw!
First time operating a chainsaw of any kind! a little excited, a little nervous. I know gas-powered are usually the ones to go, but I didn’t want to take care of another motor or carry extra fuel. For light usage like this, an electric chainsaw should be enough. Plus I can charge the battery in the vehicle.
To be honest, I wasn’t a big fan of snow wheeling. Some unpleasant previous experiences kept ruminating in my head. Did I tell you I once got sandwiched in a 5 jeep accident on a snow hill?
Ya, that was not a well-organized meet with way too many vehicles showing up.
I guess one positive thing about COVID is that it forces people to, well, separate, in a good way. You tend to have fewer if at all, big trail runs with more than 10 vehicles. It gets a little difficult to manage.
More time is spent with the selected few in your close circle, what we call, the quality ones. Or, just by yourself all together.
As I’m settling down for the night, don’t forget the ritual. Check-in with family about my safety and coordinate through Zoleo satellite communicator.
The rain caught on soon after. Time to put out the fire and stay in. Inside the Rhino-Rack awning room is significantly warmer than outside. Pair with a heater, I didn’t even put on my heated vest the whole night.
Plugged heated blanket to my Goal Zero power station to warm up the swag, this was a surprisingly warm good night sleep in snow.
This was my first night under the fully enclosed Rhino Rack awning. Cozy is an understatment. Feel like I’ve built a cabin in the mountain out of canvas. I’m outdoors, but I’m indoors as well.
If there’s one thing consistent in life, that’s our winter rain.
I love falling asleep in raindrop sound, so I guess packing up in a wet condition is something I’ll have to accept as a bundle deal.
We all need a break from the madness in the world sometimes. The indivisible mask we put on during interactions, and the physical mask we are required to wear, can all be set aside for now.
Heading to the mountain is one way to do it. By a 4WD, or by a ski lift. Secured my roof load, let’s hit the slope.
I found this camper a week ago on Seymour mountain. This time ran into them again here. I’ve never met the owner but I’m suspecting they are doing a snow trip around the big mountains? One day I’ll have a camper myself. One day.
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Cook some warm dinner at the resort’s campsite on my melted Coleman grille…. Watch the video on top till the end, I hope it give you a good laugh too…..