Sunday, March 08, 2009

The Skier's Paradox

When you get up before 5AM you've left the area of recreation behind and entered into the realm of passion. Only hunters and anglers get up at that hour. I was on a hunt of my own for powder. The week previous I worked 65 hours in five days. This week was my birthday. I celebrated with the bittersweetness of the last day of Tamarack on Wednesday. Today would be pure skiing.

It had snowed all night. The forecast was perfect. For skiing. Driving not so much. Enter stage left the skier's paradox. When conditions are perfect for skiing, rarely is the driving optimal.

As a kid I loved roller coasters. I mean I was obsessed. Learning to drive changed that because suddenly roller coasters seemed tame in comparison to the drive to the amusement park. Skiing follows almost similar logic. I'm never sure if Life Flight is a better idea for the roads or the runs. But so far, at least, skiing has held its luster for me. Especially on powder days.

Skiing on days like today is as close to truly flying as I think I'll ever get. Well, unless I get one of those squirrel suits. They look like by far the most creative way to go black.

Last of the pavement for today
6AM. Last of the pavement.

Do you want frosting with that?

We don't need no stinkin' guardrails
First light

It's gonna be good

I'd complain, but I'm going skiing
The skier's paradox

They'll let anyone on the lifts these days
They'll let anyone on the lifts these days


Subsurface tree limb-induced carnage
The snow was so incredible in the morning there was only time for photos of the lift and the carnage. It was the kind of snow that made you believe that there wasn't a slope you couldn't carve.

Video link:
The afternoon chop sobered us up a bit, but we still couldn't stop whooping and hollering like we were 10 year olds emulating the Bo and Luke.

Bootie - Money Shot
This "run" was by far the best decision of the day. I told Michael to pick left or right. He chose center through the alder thicket. It was open just enough to force money shots between the stems. We relived it for the last run of the day to find the only remaining untracked powder on the hill. The mountain got skied out early, but even choppy it was loveliness. My collarbone gives me a splitting pain when my move my arm a certain direction, by thighs ache and there's a heck of a bruise on my butt, but I can't find a reason to complain.