Thursday, March 22, 2012

On a big fatty powder cloud

Phenomenal day today skiing with low density snow, 18 inches was reported but in some places much deeper and the snow was incredibly forgiving. I just needed to make sure I was zipped up or the snow flew down my chest.  I had one little sluff that took my right ski down and I was trapped in a lot of deep snow.  It wasn't an avalanche avalanche but it gave me the impression that I'd be totally screwed if it were.  The little bit of snow I was caught in was definitely taking my ski down with it!  Mark didn't see it as he was on top of the incline but he watched me struggle to free myself.  I'm glad that I now always ski with someone else and we carry the gear in case of an emergency.

Some guy yelled at us if we had "gone to Chair Peak".  When I said no, he said "Well your packs are pretty big." Oh well, in case something happens it's nice to have some equipment to perhaps be useful instead of helpless and incredibly stupid.  Familiarity is a big crux move in risk evaluation in avalanche terrain and I think a lot of people who ski Alpental fall into that trap.  They treat it like it's their backcountry playground where they make up the rules - nature doesn't really care about what we as snow sliders "think we know."  I can't outsmart an avalanche or a terrain hazard such as a cliff.
We particularly appreciated the patrol digging out Chair 2 so we didn't have to hold our legs straight out and carry our skis in our laps.  
At Nash gate it was a little interesting with the line up.  We were patient and waited for the ski patrol to open it.  It was especially difficult for those people who had to go back to work as it didn't open until after noon time.  
Mark and I were able to ski all day.  At first the crowd was a little obnoxious,  One guy called it the "I-5 traffic mentality" but  I think it's just a bunch of testosterone dreaming hero turns in a Warren Miller Film.  I use a little cultural anthropology research to keep me interested in the skier dynamics of lift lines or interview them about what they do outside of skiing. 

Today I met an astronomer who gets to work on projects from the Hubble Space Telescope. He said he's got the coolest job in the world looking for universes.  He didn't know about the annular eclipse though May 20th, but I'm sure he knew lots of other cool stuff. 

I practiced my loving attitude and allowed the working stiff to move forward while I maintained my powder serenity.  There was plenty of snow to go around, no need to feel like there was a shortage and we had fresh turns every run.  

All in all a perfect powder day. 
I'm looking forward to skiing tomorrow if I get to be so lucky. 

No comments:

Post a Comment