It's that time of year again, the sun's starting to linger in the sky ever longer and February's faceshots are but a distant memory. No matter how many beers you mainline at the end of season gathering, you can't escape the reality, summer is just around the corner.

As skiers it's often easy to resent summer, but instead of throwing yourself headfirst into a substance induced catatonic stupor come May 1st, perhaps just pause and consider the 'value' of summer.

Late season spring shredding in the UK

Summer provides an invaluable period of time to reflect on your skiing. Unlike many other sports, skiing is an immensely personal experience, and they way you choose to spend your precious time in the mountains will be shaped by a myriad of external factors. Undoubtedly summer has profoundly shaped who I am as a skier. My goals for the coming winter and indeed the direction in which I wish to take my skiing long term always come together over the long summer months. Without the chance to step back from continued participation, I probably would have been swept along in the tide and I'd be coming off the back of a very different season right now.

Ski touring with Hussein the mule, part of that very different season I'm coming off the back of

If you're reading this, then there's a pretty good chance you're passionate about skiing and you want to keep shredding as long as possible. But like any burning passion the intensity with which that flame burns will vary greatly. As you hang up your gratuitously large Saga pants for the last time this season and head out to your back garden to throw yourself at a six foot length of pvc, it might be hard to believe, but you can have 'too much of a good thing'. I strongly believe that if you want to make skiing a perennial feature of your life, it's imperative that you develop interests and relationships outside of skiing.

So whilst you're working your ass off for a new pair of boutique skis this summer, take a minute to remember summer is a defining feature of what it means to be and skier, and this summer might just redefine who you are as a skier.

words and images - J. van Dyke