5 Things to Do in the Off Season

It’s been a while since I last posted, and I don’t really don’t have an excuse for that. Aside from advancing my professional writing career and gaining a new obsession with buying a splitboard, I haven’t really been that busy.

Alas, the end of the rock climbing season (for the most part) is upon us. The time when the boulders are covered with water instead of chalk, when crags are flooded with rain, and our precious ropes collect dust in the closet. But fear not, there are things you can do to prevent cabin fever and craziness from seeping into your life this winter.

As such, here are 5 things you can do in the off season.

  1. Condition

    This should be an easy one. Assuming you have a membership to a climbing gym already, use it to its fullest potential. If they have a treadmill, stairmaster, or even an elliptical, use it. Even cragging has somewhat of an approach, and it never hurts to have a higher level of fitness overall.  (See my other article on 4 Ways to Condition for Climbing)

  2. Mountaineer

    If rock climbing is more your speed, try mountaineering this winter. If you’re worried about glacier travel or don’t have much experience with crevasses, try an alpine ascent without it. Just make sure you check out the weather for whiteout and avalanche conditions.

  3. Snowshoe

    Snowshoes are cheap and easy to rent, especially around major cities. Some visitors centers on mountains (Hurricane Ridge, for example) will rent them out to park attendees as well. While it takes some work to get initially, it eventually becomes easier.

  4. Ski/Snowboard/Splitboard

    This option can be as exciting as you want it. Skiing can open up so many opportunities in the backcountry, whether it’s crosscountry skiing or skinning up a mountain to complete an incredible run. Splitboarding is another great option (but, as I’m finding, expensive to start up) that involves skinning up and boarding down. Again, avalanches and adverse conditions are a concern.

  5. Plan Your Trips

    Another absolute favorite to do when not climbing: thinking and talking about climbs! Take this opportunity to figure out the schematics of where you will be exploring this summer. It gets the boring part out of the way and keeps you excited year-round.

Ultimately, there are many things you can do to keep yourself busy throughout the year. Whether it is conditioning, participating in a snowsport, or planning for future trips, you can be just as rad in the winter as you are for the summer.

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