It’s been a good winter.
I’m lucky enough to have the funds, friends, and fervor to keep a really hectic ski lifestyle going on in this city. Basically, my weekends are ski adventures punctuating what is a fairly predictable and manageable workload the other 5 days of the week. While that all blurs together, my weekends are vivid highlights that I’m eager to document and remember.
Since January, I’ve skied almost every weekend (every weekend?) at practically every mountain in the state of Colorado.
Thus far this season I’ve tackled: A Basin, Breckenridge, Beaver Creek, Copper, Keystone, Steamboat, Winter Park, Vail and Telluride. I’m stoked to ski Monarch this weekend – that’s a totally off-the-beaten-path mountain that I’ve heard is spectacular.
No matter what has happened in a given week, how I’m feeling the day of the trip, what the weather is like, or how much snow has fallen, nothing makes me happier than strapping into my boots first thing in the morning and hopping a chair lift to the top of a gorgeous mountain.
Nothing can compare to the feel of that first run of the day. I’ve been hungover, grumpy, cold, annoyed, uncomfortable, and sore, and it all suddenly disappears when you take the first big deep breath of mountain air. Suddenly, the only thing that matters is feeling the rush of the wind past your cheeks on a fun, challenging, and exhilarating run down a bright white hill.
The best part of this season has no doubt been how quickly I’ve advanced in this game. I joke that while I don’t have much skill, I have lots of heart. I want to be out on the mountain every weekend getting better and better. I want to take a tough run down some bumpy trees. I want to listen to feedback on my form, my skill, my speed. While it’s not surprising that I’m striving every day to get better, it is surprising how much passion this sport has sparked for me.
I always say yes. I’m always down for another run, for a tough patch of trees, for an out-of-bounds hike. Just this past weekend I borrowed bigger, fatter, longer skis than what I’m used to and challenged myself in some deep powder with some advanced buddies. No, I can’t quite keep up. No, I’m not nearly as fast as they are. No, I can’t actually stop in the powder. Details! What matters is that I’m out in the wild as my visceral, physical self without a care in the world.
The settings are gorgeous. The landscape is alien. The air is dry. And when I’m floating over a patch of powder dodging between a clump of trees with good friends flanking me the whole way down, life is good. There is nothing quite like being a tiny, happy human on a giant beautiful mountain to put everything right in the world.
This is what Colorado is all about.