Tom and I drove up to Badger Pass (our local little ski area) today and got our first short XC trip of the season in. The road to Badger is still closed, but we went up to check on the XC ski building there and “familiarize ourselves with the XC ski rental gear and nearby trails” as part of my job at the mountaineering school. We grabbed a pair of waxless skis and some boots and set off through the snow. There were bear tracks everywhere, and we wandered around after those for a while before beginning to feel like we might actually bother the bear during a time when they need to be settling down for the winter. Skiing through the woods was beautiful. There aren't really any other people up there right now, so the solitude was magnificent, the scenery was stunning and to top it all off the snow started to fall – big snowglobe flakes on a calm day. Have I mentioned that I like my job?