Spending time on my (ski) relationship.

My relationship with skiing is in the "we're just friends" phase. Don't worry, it's up from "it's complicated" so I'm moving in the right direction.

Being surrounded by snow-savvy friends is adjusting my status with the sport. I didn't even tumble or swear this time (even when weighed down with a backpack). I know. It's impressive.

Last weekend we skied up to a lookout tower—ones the Forest Service uses in the summer to spot wildfires. You can reserve in the towers during the winter. (Just ignore the need to pee at night so you can avoid negotiating four levels of icy steps down to the outhouse.) Otherwise? Haul in some boxed wine and a jigsaw puzzle and you're ready for a wild night. Hooray wood stove and 360-degree view.

Be aware: walls of windows means you won't sleep through sunrise. This time? A foggy, dreamy arrival. Wow. Maybe this is turning into a friendship with benefits after all.

Melting snow to boil water for pasta. Mmm. Pasta.

Melting snow to boil water for pasta. Mmm. Pasta.