backTurns All Year year-round skiing                

Year-round skier:  Keith Dawley




How I got started skiing year-round:  On Labor Day in 1995 I went skiing up on the Mammoth Crest with some friends. We went up there because there was still a lot of snow that year and the skiing was really good. We realized that we had all skied a full year by skiing at least one day each month. October came with fresh powder and the next year just rolled into the last one. We all kept it going for a few years but people dropped off one by one for different reasons. After awhile I found myself going back to the same spot on the Crest, solo. Not so much to keep the streak alive, but just to go out in the woods and do something I enjoy. My dog died, I went on some long bike tours, I got married, got a good job, bought some property, got another dog and still managed to keep skiing. It think it keeps me young.
Criteria for what counts as a ski trip:  Gliding on snow with skis on my feet. Whether it's stepping out the front door to slide on one-half inch of Halloween mush, hiking four hours to skid on ice or bombing down a chute over the head blinding, choking cold smoke ecstasy. It's all skiing.
Biggest threat to my streak:  Living so far South and five years of less than stellar winters.
Type of equipment I use:  Nordic. I use traditional telemark gear (plastic boots and fat shaped skis) a good deal of the time but spend more time striding and skating. One or two months out of the year I use Lynx short skis (yeah they suck but I get more turns for the effort) with the old rubber band Superloops.
Strategy for skiing through the low season:  Ski early, ski often. If you ski on the first day of the month, you really don't "have" to go back until the last day of the next month. So Labor Day and Halloween frame most years. Sometimes I like to do July 31st and Jerry Garcia's birthday (August 1st) back to back when conditions are good. (Spend a little time on the mountain).
Worst and best backcountry ski trips:  Worst: Waking up early and hiking for hours and hours in the dark and light to ski bottomless slop with people who don't want to be there. Best: Camping out in a new location with old friends and finding new pokes.
Skiing activities in the past year:  Pretty uneventful, but you should've seen me last year! Wait 'til next year. I plan on giving it a rest but y'all know what will happen, the mother of all winters. Yeah that's right. Bring it on. Call in the National Guard. Everyone is getting buried. Keep on skiing.





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