Skiing the Moon

Alpine Touring Isn’t Crazy

Story and Photos by Michael Stubbs

Just back from an adventure, I pull into the driveway in my red ‘99 SUV, which I bought in Alaska and have driven as far as a hundred-plus miles north of the Arctic Circle.  As I remove a  pair of skis from the back of the rig, my neighbor, who is taking his dog for a walk, asks where  I’ve been. I tell him.

 There is a quiet pause.

“I didn’t know you could do that,” he replies.

I smile, nod, and continue to remove gear: boots, poles, skins, backpack, extra coat, extra gloves. It is early evening, but it is dark already. “Well, we didn’t ask, but nobody stopped us.”

I smirk. It’s true, but I do know the regulations.

He nods. “Skiing down a volcano.”

“Defunct volcano, but yes. Skiing up and down a volcano.”

His eyes widen in surprise although this is the second time I’ve mentioned the “up” part. I think most people figure I’m exaggerating or just making stuff up when I explain alpine touring. But we ski up and down in this mode of snow travel, cross-country too, and Idaho has abundant alpine touring opportunities for those willing to put in the work and earn their turns, rather than buying a lift ticket and standing in line.

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Michael Stubbs

About Michael Stubbs

Michael Stubbs lives in Pocatello with his wife and three kids. He teaches English at Idaho State University in the fall and winter. In the summer, he explores Idaho by running trails, hiking, and camping.

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