Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Killington Opening Day 2012: Oh Winter, How We Have Missed You!!

"In winter, it's easy to give up on everything,everything I've planned, everything I've accomplished,everything I believe. In the face of the first snowflake, I see the face of God, and in those who follow lesser but infinite gods, bringing MUNDANE EXISTENCE to a freezing halt, and I feel convincingly that I've arrived in exactly the place at exactly the time I was meant to be...."

For weeks now, we have been living this mundane existence. Each day we wake up, go to work, maybe have a few drinks and ice cream with friends, celebrate a birthday or two...the same types of days that I would imagine a resident of the real world experiences. Money gets wicked tight and life becomes focused on merely moving from one day to the next. The Ski Bum Life seems like only a dream, a faint reality sometime hopefully in the future...

And then it happens.
The snowguns are turned on, the lifts begin to move...

Opening Day Finally Arrives!!!!

my life has purpose again, it has meaning.

each day is wrapped with a glorious white fluffy bow
- like maybe with some lace from the Greenbrier -
and it is a gift.

A Snowy Gift.
On which we can Schuss.

So Schuss we do.

Beneath the blasts from the snow guns, my legs swing like a pendulum beneath me. With the low visibility, i am forced to feel for the mountain through my feet. From toe to heel, I breathe what I hope is a caress of the mountain and try to become one fluid movement. The dance begins. I slide overe this mound heree, and around this bump over there. A lift stansion comes into view and I dive my tips up, over and around. A slick spot pulls me further down the trail than I was expecting, but I keep my upper body moving down the hill and pause to wipe my goggle lenses at least somewhat clear. A pole plant guides me around the next mini-whaleback and I can see the loading terminal come into my distant view. There is some upbeat music and I heard there was cheap beer...But it's a quick 180 spin and back up the lift...

On the lift, I can hear the BF talking to me. He has been up on tho since 9am, has taken approximaty 30 runs and is telling about how the morning went or whatever, but I am not really listening. My whole body is caught up by the snowy beauty to my right - the trees of the North Ridge. They are stunning, as they usually are. But today they draw my attention. The past few days of snow have turned the evergreens into that perfect balance of green and white that so defines a classic winter moment. From our viewwpoint on the chairlift, we are floating amog the treetops. It is a magical view, the perfect way to start a season, and The toothsome grin frozen to my face seems to ant merely to soak up every last drop of winter.

But no day in the mountains would be complete without a hike through the woods - and so we ventured out to that magical trail that connects Vermont with the rest of the east coast. The stone structure on her path is a mecca for the Killington Skiers, a second home that provides an opportunity to simpy keep calm and take a moment to let it all sink in.

Ski Season has started.
Pheww.
Now my days will be defined by whether or not I skied,
how much snow has fallen,
which trails should we ski,
which gear for the day...

ah, somehow, today,
life just seems to be right.


While I love earning my turns, theeer is something to be said for running laps on the chairlift. The flow is there, the rhythym, the grace. Run after run makes you think - or not think depending - only about skiing and you can lose yourself in the moment. You find your winter friends - the ones to whom you share the deep kindred bond of snow love - and you do what you do best.
Ski.
And Ski some more.
oh man, the feeling of the schuss is just so magical, so ethereal, like floating on clouds but much silkier than I ever imagine clouds could be. My legs fall back into the old familiar motion, the muscle memory comes back easier each year, and I just let myself go. I feel like maple syrup, slowly oozing down the side of the bottle as i come down the mountain.

But all good things must come to an end.
And we will be skiing tomorrow.
And the next day.
And the next 150 days after that.
And more than a few more after that just for good measure.

Because that is what we do here.
That's Why We Live and Work in Killington.
The skiing.
It's Our Thing.

I feel like we're on our way to visit Santa as we make our way up the Stairway to Heaven, and I start thinking about how my holiday wish has already been granted.
I live the life I want, the life I need to keep me sane.

Days like today are the very reason I became a ski bum.

May You Find the Spirit of the Winter Mountains Within You,
Merisa

2 comments:

  1. Opening day is always super exciting! I love having a smile on my face while skiing. Especially when it's cold and your teeth start to freeze!

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    1. Yes!! That is one of my favorites - especially early morning right after brushing your teeth!! Brrrr :) yet wonderful! So exciting - plus more so this year since we got to have TWO Opening Days!!

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