Long before the first leaves turn and geese start heading back south, I invariably have my first skiing dream of the season. This year’s came early, sometime in the middle of July when it was too scorching hot to enjoy a mid-day hike, let alone go skiing. Later that week, I found myself reading ski reviews without making the connection between the dream and a seemingly premature gear obsession. A week or two later, with temps still in the 90s, I was one step closer to that new pair of skis though, with a collection of older gear delivered to Northwest Outdoors, Spokane’s used outdoor gear consignment shop.

Is the middle of summer or even right now too early to start thinking and scheming about winter adventures? If you’re reading this, then you probably agree the answer is no. The weeks and months leading up to a new season and its complimentary outdoor pursuits, if we fill them with transitional and preparatory rituals (like planning gear upgrades), make the actual moments when the season has changed and we are committed completely to the act (like bombing down the season’s first run) all that more magical.

Winter is well on its way, and we hope you’ll find plenty of inspiration in the following pages to make this season one of your best ever. If you’re thinking about planning an out-of-town ski or snowboard trip this year, Out There is hosting our first ever trip to Big White Ski Resort just north of us near Kelowna, B.C., December 14-16. It’s an amazing price and an incredible destination. Until the first snow falls, here’s to more sweet dreams of winter. //