Powder Day

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Powder day. The local hill is reporting 11 inches of fresh so I drop the kids off at school and head straight for the mountain. I do a shot of Wild Turkey 101 to make sure I’m awake and I’m skiing powder by 10am. I’m on super light touring gear with soft boots so there’s no chair lift in my future, just constant up and down loops. I focus on a couple of out of the way slopes that don’t get groomed and rarely get ridden because of how they sit on the mountain. If you want to ski them, you have to traverse a couple of short road sections and nobody wants to traverse, so I have them all to myself.

It’s cold and the wind is blowing the top layer of snow up the mountain and dropping it into this little bowl tucked between the trees–one of my little powder stashes. It’s knee deep and steep in there, making for perfect, slow arcing tele turns. I hit the bottom of the stash, connect to a little road and ski up to my next powder field, where it’s not quite as deep, but still ripping fun. At the bottom, I climb the main, groomed slope back uphill. Every once in a while, someone will tell me I’m going the wrong direction. At the top, I cut through the woods and catch my breath at the beginning of that first steep, deep section, then start the process all over again.

All in, it’s maybe 350 vert up and 350 vert down. I do lap after lap, trying to pace myself on the uphill, but wanting to get as many laps in as possible before I have to pick up my kids from school.

It’s one of those perfect days. It’s midweek so it’s not that crowded, and everyone on the hill seems to be riding with their own sound system blaring. The snow is still falling–big ornate flakes like something out of a movie–but the sun is shining so all the women are skiing in their bikinis.

Okay, I made that last bit up. But it’s still a perfect day. Everyone I run into is giddy, smiling and talking about how awesome the conditions are. We don’t get these days often, so we appreciate them. We savor them. We’re all strangers but still connected by these beautiful, rare circumstances.

In my head, I’m singing Lou Reed, “Perfect Day,” over and over. “It’s such a perfect day, I’m glad I spent it with you…”

It doesn’t matter what you drink in these days. Wild Turkey at 10am is good though.

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