So Worth It: Rachael Burks Has The Best Advice For When The Pow Is Subpar

There are moments that we can all relate to as part of the outdoor community. Whether we identify as climbers, skiers, paddlers, and whether our preferred terrain is rock, snow, or water, these are the highlights of what we withstand that bring us together. No matter how challenging, at the end of the day we discover that each of these moments are So Worth It.

Outdoor Research Ambassador Rachael Burks knows how to sniff out a good storm. When weather patterns start carrying in moisture, and temperatures drop below freezing, she’s on her phone and on the prowl for the best powder around. Follow Rachael’s tips on practicing patience in crummy snow years, and learn how to have a blast regardless of the conditions.

Let’s say the storm does not deliver the dump you were expecting. There are plenty of ways to avoid crappy snow inside, but if you toughen up and learn to embrace the bad snow days, you’re in for a real treat. Giggle in the rain, skip through the slush, or climb high enough to the single angry inch that comes in just wet enough to heal up the mountain... There is something insanely fun about every single day you have the privilege to be able to ski. You just simply have to keep in mind that the better you get at skiing through those difficult days, the better a skier you will become.

Take it from Rachael and grind through the crusty, dirty snow so you can appreciate the deep powder days all the more.


1) Show up. The first and simplest step of all; never turn down an opportunity to get out there.

2) Enjoy the other aspects of skiing, like moving fast. Skiing is fun even when you’re not in overhead powder!

3) Open up your social circle. When the conditions are less than optimal, friend-shredding makes the day the best day.  

4) Don’t forget to look up. Appreciate the mountain for its beauty – you’re lucky to be where you are.

5) Be grateful. Always remember that if you’re swooshin’ you’re not workin’. Who cares if the conditions aren’t perfect?

6)  Recognize that snow is snow. When your storm is downgraded from 26 inches to 2.6 inches, remember that any amount of powder can really heal up the mountain.

7) Adopt a new attitude. Bad snow years eliminate the powder-panic-induced-daily aggro sentiment. Enjoy a more laid back look on life.

8) Build fun little features. Take advantage of the extra time to push some snow around. One little spread eagle a day can make a SEASON.

9) Sniff out the one sweet turn that makes every lap worth it. It’s out there – you’ve just got to work a little to find it.

10) Regardless of conditions, remember this: Skiing is fun. Every day you’re lucky enough to get out there is a day to be grateful.