Thursday, February 21, 2013
Like most people who spend time outdoors, I love the variables that it introduces into my day. Heat, cold, wild bees, rain, humidity, snow, ice, and an unrelenting wind chill are all factors I have braced in the last year. Sometimes, conditions test us to the core and pose the same question over and over: What are you made of? One of the many instances this question was screamed at me was in November: I was coming down Sawteeth (a Adirondack High Peak) and all for a sudden found myself on top of a scramble covered with about five inches of ice without any visible hand holds. With the wind howling I didn't have much time to figure out how to get down the 15 feet of ice. It took some teamwork, but it happened.
The flip side of those conditions can only be described as: "the perfect moment"! Here is mine from yesterday: I took the day off and went skiing with my son. The wind has been an issue in the Northeast, especially in the last week or so. We were excited when it started snowing on the way up. We decided to hit the top of Gore Mountain early, while it was still groomed and before the snow was blown off. Powder time is precious here in the Northeast! We did six runs on black diamonds early. Hawkeye, the Open Pit and Chatiemac were some of my favorites. Taking our seperate ways on the way to the lodge for an early lunch, we were going to meet on the bottom. The first part of my run I took Cloud to Darby, to lower Cloud. This is when I decided to take a left onto Showcase. Here is where it happened. I fell into a perfect rhythm. The snow had a pinkish shimmer from my goggles, and the blue sky looked purplish. I was skiing under the lift and all for a sudden, there was no soul around me. The slope around me and the lift were completely empty. All I heard was the swooshing of my turns, saw the powder fly off the back of my skis.Turn after turn it was all about me and the mountain. Although those morning runs were incredible, it was that moment that keeps drawing me in.