It’s not a good sign when there’s more rock than snow and you’re asking yourself why you bothered to strap two metal planks to your back and climb to the top of a mountain. Today’s lesson in making the most of a low-snow season comes courtesy of Ridge Mountain Academy ski coach David Steele. The Kalispell, Montana-based ski mountaineer runs an adventure blog titled Skinning with Bear Spray, a nod to the requisite can of bear repellant that has a permanent home in his pack. His season edit, which includes footage of trips to Mount Rainier, Mount Adams, the Three Sisters volcanoes, and elsewhere in the Montana, Washington, and Oregon backcountry, is proof that there’s joy even in skidding over crusty snow. That’s a valuable lesson learned, but here’s to hoping it’s one we can keep tucked deep in our back pockets this season.