How to survive a seemingly never-ending northwest winter

So is it just me, or has this winter seemed exceptionally long and brutal? It’s mid-March and this morning I woke up to snow coming down at my house (in Bremerton?!)… For all the people out there who live for the snow sports, I’m sure this winter has felt like a gift from god after a few years of short ski seasons, but for the climbers who are anxiously awaiting the spring temps and dry rock, this winter (which started early and is somehow still going) is starting to feel almost unbearable…

As an avid climber myself (mainly bouldering), I am used to getting outside into the late fall and even catching a few crisp winter days up in Gold Bar or Squamish, but this year has been unprecedentedly cold/wet/snowy/miserable. The only solace I have had are the short trips to the desert I have been able to make recently (Red Rocks and Bishop), but those are too few and far between, and I am just anxious for the climbing season to start in the Pacific Northwest!!

For all you climbers who are right there suffering along with me, I have put together a list of things you can do while we are all biding our time until the snow melts in Leavenworth and we can get back to our projects:

·         Go to the gym. Seattle offers a Plethora of world class climbing facilities including Seattle Bouldering Project, Vertical World, and Stone Gardens. This is a great option for maintaining fitness until the season starts, or even to focus on training your weaknesses so you can take down all the problems that shut you down last fall!

·         If you are getting tired of the gym routes, try the Moon Board! This thing is addicting because (a) it will get you strong, (b) you can work on the same problems and even share problem lists with other climbers around the world, and (c) your projects don’t go away, so it’s almost like climbing outside (but not really). [They have a Moon Board at SBP, not sure about the other gyms, but if you have the space, you can always build one at home!]

·         Go on a trail run! There are plenty of trails around that are just wet (as opposed to being covered in snow)… If you are itching to get outside (like me), this can give you a temporary fix.

·         If you are still harboring a climbing injury from last fall, give your body the rest it needs to come into the season healthy!

·         On the days you are too depressed about this long winter to do anything useful, so you just end up binge-watching Stranger Things (again) on Netflix… maybe at least switch to a low calorie ice cream like Halo Top while you watch so that once the weather turns, at least your climbing clothes will still fit!

·         Get psyched to train by listening to a Training Beta podcast or getting a personalized training plan from coaches at your local gym (I personally recommend Mercedes Pollmier).

·         Keep looking through the guidebooks and refining your tick list for the spring.

·         I know it’s frowned upon to like climbing in Vantage, but you are way more likely to catch a dry day out there… and on the plus side it’s not rattlesnake season right now, so one less thing to worry about!

·         Keep checking the weather reports for local climbing crags, because you never know when a cool, dry day will pop up!! (Tip: be ready with a list of excuses as to why you need to skip work should this occur).

If none of these things make you feel any better, just keep hoping and praying that eventually spring will come, and remember that we’re all right there with you!