Last weekend at Mt Hotham I was chatting with a friend about the end of the season. She said she was starting to grieve for the end of another year. I was feeling exactly the same. I feel most alive in the alpine, especially the alpine when it’s snow covered, and for me, the spring melt marks the end of the year.
I find myself feeling sad as the mountain clears of people, heading off home after a season on the hill. I get reflective, and start planning and generally thinking about life. New Years Eve/ January 31 always feels a bit arbitrary for me. I enjoy the ritual (me and my family and a big mob of friends always spend a few days out on Mt Stirling to see the year off and greet the new one) but its spring that seems like the ending of the year’s cycle of seasons.
Life goes on: its walking and riding, paddling and climbing season. The mountains are always there and there’s always plenty to do. But I do feel that sadness, that sense that another year has passed in a blink of an eye. It helps me get a sense of perspective on life, so I’m grateful for that sadness.
I hope that you’ve had an amazing winter, and that you’re enjoying this gorgeous season – and what’s left of the snow pack of an amazing winter.
Here’s something I wrote for Backcountry Magazine a couple of years ago about end of the season: apart from closing weekend at Hotham, and Slushfest at The Bluff, a final trip up Mt Stirling is all part of the end of winter ritual.