Thursday, April 16, 2009

Pinch me

This morning was so good, I thought I was dreaming. After the first lap, I asked Dug to pinch me, just to make sure I was awake. After the second lap, we pondered a third. It’s April 16. Could be last chance for powder this year. We lapped it again.

It wasn’t just the snow that was good. The sky was clear, no wind, and we had great views of Pfeifferhorn and Lightning Ridge, as well as the valley below.

Photos courtesy of Adam

Conditions being what they were, we made the most of it. And when I say “we,” I mean that Adam, Aaron, Dug, Nate, and I were just watching Ben remind us that he really is that much better of a skier than everyone else.

Remember that big cornice on Scotties? Well Ben decided he was going to jump the upper part of the cornice and land in the chute.

So we watched as Ben made his run in, and then something happened that I’ve never seen before:

Ben crashed. So he had to hike back up and do it again. This time he made it to the launch zone without incident. And then something else happened that I’ve never seen before:

Not only did he send it off the cornice, he threw a front flip. The snow was deep enough that he made a crater when he landed, popped out of that, and in two turns was at the bottom of the upper bowl.

The euphoria from watching that led to a general sense of goofiness that permeated the rest of the day. Aaron and Ben chose to exhibit this positive energy by having a lively discussion about surface area, mass, and coefficients of friction as it pertains to climbing skins.

The rest of us luddites only know that sometimes skins slide backwards when you’re climbing. So we came up with clever product warnings Black Diamond would never use. Such as:

“Keep back 30 feet. These skis may stop or back up at any time.” Or: “These skis may backslide worse than a Jesus Freak in a whorehouse.”

At the top, the conversation wandered to a topic best illustrated by a quiz. Match the skier below with his first album purchase (state your answers in the comments). When I say “album” I mean cassette, LP, 8 track, or whatever. Cuz I think we’re all old enough that they weren’t CDs or iTunes downloads.

1) Aaron

2) Adam

3) Ben

4) Me


a) Depeche Mode

b) U2

c) Rush

d) Simon and Garfunkle

Despite wasting time at the top in idle chit-chat--we moved on from here to location of first kisses, Dracula’s Castle ride at Lagoon, for instance--and pausing to watch Ben drop a huge cliff:

We had to lap the upper bowl one more time. And then it was 2,000+ glorious feet of creamy powder back to the car.

A great note to go out on. Except we’re not going out. It may be the last powder day, but we’ve still got spring corn to harvest. Of course, it could snow some more tonight and force us to ski powder yet again tomorrow. Brother Brigham was right: this is the right place.


  1. "After the first lap, I asked Dug to pinch me, just to make sure I was awake."

    first and last time, okay?

  2. I can't believe that Ben and I were still foolishly wasting our time talking about coefficients of friction and skins while you guys were talking about backsliders and whore houses. Lemme guess, did dug come up with that one?

    By the way, if we include cassettes, I have to sheepishly admit that my first albums were actually a Heart tape and the Rocky IV soundtrack. Eye of the Tiger baby! Shut up guys, I was only 9.

  3. I am not even sure what a coefficient is.