Sunday, February 10, 2013

Skiing Killington at Night: Finding My Own Private Nemo

My morning started with Freshies on East Mountain Road.
The plow guys were working so hard, but had yet to get to my access route to the mountain. If I could have figured out a way to take a photo while driving safely, I would have. It was just gorgeous - an untouched ribbon of white, so inviting as the snow reached from treeline to a just not hidden the guard rail separating the road from the golf course. The lights from the condos were glowing through the darkness thst marks five in the morning and the snowflakes glistened in the light as they fell slowly to the ground. I could see only as far as my headlights allowed; I had faith that the mountain was there, buried in white and just waiting for the moments when skiers would find all her secret hidden passageways filled with soft, luscious powder...

With my skins on, I left right from the back of my car in a contrastingly immaculately plowed parking lot. I had to step up the plow berm to even gt up onto the fresh snow and huge gust of wind hit me right in the throat. Quickly, I shuffled across the open expanse that is always the base area and hugged the treeline on skinner's right. The wind literally vanished and I was left in a quiet solitude amidst the darkness.

Like a monster scouring through the depths of the ocean, a groomer was beginning to make his way down underneath the chairlift. His lights made a dance through the trees and the snow beneath my feet was littered with glittery gold stripes. So together we would be for a while, my groomer friend and I, as he went down and I went up. Each on our separate journeys in the darkness,

While the snowflakes twinkling in the light of my headlamp was stunning, it was the snow on the ground that was really the focus of my attention.
And It had to.
The wind had created such distinct waves in the snow pack, that even against the tree line there were varying depths and densities in the snow. There would be fifty strides of smooth, glistening snow where I groomer had visited just before the sixteen inches had fallen. But then I might wander too close to the treeline and end up a soft pile of theigh deep which they had moved to the side to make a perfectly flat surface for the downhill skiers and riders.
And I would smile.
Cause it was pretty damn deep in that there snow :)

As I came out of the woods in to prepare for the next trail junction, I realized that I was indeed truly alone. It looked as though no groomer or snowmobiler had come through this way in days. The wind had pushed the snow every which way and all about, pushing it up against trees and pulling it harshly from others, leaving their roots exposed to the bitter cold that was descending upon us. You could have filmed a scene from some apocolypse flim...and we were the only ones left.

As we rounded the final bend, I pulled in behind a nook of evergreen trees to quickly change from my softshell into my ever so cozy Biwak Puffy. Yeah, it's a bright glowy pink, but it is so lusciously warm and like wrapping myself in a sleeping bag. It only takes a few moments for the heat from body to fill in the air space between my merino baselayer. I am all snuggled up and finally ready for the change. I swing my arms fore and aft, willing the blood back into my fingertips so that ai ahve enough dexterity to grap the tip loop. And then I remember - I hadn't finished my tea from yesterday and the water was still warm!!! What a wonderful treat on on a blustery summit.

But I knew which way I wanted to go.
And so I went rolling in the deep.
Literally.
My tip got caught in a chunk of windblown snuck into my perfect powder run and I suddenly went log rolling down the hill until I was sitting on my right pole looking up at the tree tops on the summit. I chuckled to myself, thankful for a pile of light and fluffyness to land in. Packing down the snow around me, I cautiously stood up and shook the wicked cold snow out of my back. Super glad no one was here to see that, I thought to myself.

And then the rest of the float was all mine.
It was heavenly.
Literally, like it felt like floating on clouds.
Poof
Poof
Poof
Each turn was it's own wonderful world.
Poof
Poof
Poof
My breathing intertwined with the sound of fresh powder puffing up as I moved my skis through the snow.

It was Perfect.
:)

I hope that everyone had an absolutely wonderful day in Nemo's Powder this weekend, no matter how much snow fell around you.
It could have been an inch, sixteen or thirty-four...but it's all the same to me.
Fresh, Light & Lovely.
The way life should be.

May You Find the Spirit of the Mountains Within You

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoy reading your posts! Thank you for sharing your adventures.

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