"The best day of the year" c. 2008 Snowbird

"The best day of the year" c. 2008 Snowbird

Whoo boy, what a day it was.  I can say without question that today I skied the deepest snow that I have ever encountered.  To put this in perspective, I’ve been skiing since about the time that I learned to walk.  But never before has my downhill progress been fully halted by chest-deep snow

The canyon opened at the reasonable hour of 8:45, and the line of cars slowly wound it’s way up into the mountains.  While we were stopped near avalanche gate A,  quite amazingly a coyote trotted across the road, right in front of our car, and trotted right on down the slope and into the white-out snow beyond.  It was a good omen.

My dad and I made it onto the tram at snowbird by about 9:30, and their website had reported 18-20″ of new snow overnight, and it was still dumping.  When the doors opened at the top, the wind was howling in the 30-40mph range, and visibility was close to nil.  Taking the road down off of the ridge was like skiing inside of a pingpong ball, but once we were out of the gusting winds all that we could see below us was one big field of white.  This same slope, the year before, claimed my girlfriend Jane, as her snowboard was no match for the large sheet of blue ice that covered it.  Today however, it had been dumped on and then wind loaded, making the snow so deep that it took a while to get used to skiing in it.  It delivered face shot after face shot of bottomless powder, and emerging at the bottom I found my face caked with snow.  I looked up to see my father’s track- three turns, hole, three turns, hole.  He needs some bigger skis.

The rest of the day was run after run of snow to my thighs, hips, and chest.  I really enjoy it when each turn delivers a huge burst of snow up to my neck, filling my collar and mouth.  Each turn is like coming up out of the snow briefly for air before diving back into the white fluff.  A few days ago at Solitude, I thought that I’d gotten in my best runs of the season, as my brother and I were about the fourth and fifth people to hit the high traverse track into honeycomb canyon, right after it opened, with 15″ of fresh stuff on the ground.  It was an epic day of fresh tracks after fresh tracks.  But today was better.  I wouldn’t have thought it possible.  I’m blessed to be out here, and God Damn I could do it full time.

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