Red Heather Shenanigans

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

It wasn’t the powder day I was looking for to kick off the season but it was a good time. Last year an exceptional skier patiently and kindly led a trip to Red Heather on a dreamy powder day. She never left our side. This time I learned how frustrating it can be to induct eager people to the sport while being surrounded by people zooming down enjoying the powder. I frustrated myself with flat/up and down terrain that made for good ski learning but impossible snowboarding but I didn’t fool myself by thinking that I didn’t have my own incompetencies, either. Going quickly I could hide my lack of skill behind reckless riding but going more slowly, I showed my uncanny knack for sinking into powder/inability to turn with a heavy backpack and feel in control. The skiiers eventually had a great time learning to ski – I could see the same joy I felt last year learning to ski. Though not a snowboarding-heavy day, it was still a jam packed day. We visited five gas station at six in the morning before we found a working pump. On the way back, we saved 20 minutes of hiking by packing our 4 bodies, skis and bags into the back of a truck with two girls who kindly offered to truck us down. I can’t say I was too thrilled by the safety of sitting on top of somebody’s lap, with my head hitting the ceiling and a window on one side, and skis on the other. But to be honest, it was a little funny and a huge reprieve after a  3:30 AM wake up time. We arrived back in the city at 7:30 PM after under $5 dinners at the best cheap samosas restaurant in the town.

 

It doesn’t feel official to me yet – being a beginner trip, we stuck to conditions very similar to skiing in your backyard, if it were to snow – but it’s a start. And maybe it will never feel “official” to me until I push my boundaries or improve my skills, which are pretty darn limited to making it down a mountain. And doubly not in powder-I sank my nose like a chip coming down for the dip and had to pull myself out every time I tried to turn. It did sprinkle a little on us-but it wasn’t the luscious heavy flakes that turn any landscape into a snow globe. In those kinds of conditions, it really feels like winter in the only thing you know. After an unseasonably warm summer and autumn, I feel unadapted to the cold. It seems unreal that elsewhere people are in their normal winter-time mood, where snow isn’t an oddity and arrives like clockwork, and are anticipating a long and assured winter. I feel like I need to shake off my El Nino qualms, for if I fear, I won’t progress.

It’s probably the most interesting day of the season I’ve ever had, despite how it feels. Outdoors, in the backcountry; mellow as our spot may be, it’s a special spot, a reminder of how conditions exist in a wild variety everywhere, how there’s snow if you hike for it, how skill takes patience and practice but moreover passion.

Here’s to the first day of the season.

 

 

Advertisements

Thanks for your comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s