Back when I lived in Colorado, skiing was a major part of my winter life. I had two uncles that would visit from the east coast who were equally keen on skiing, and we used to hit the slopes at a backcountry ski lodge (it was a well kept secret…I loved skiing there way better than at some of the more famous places we visited).
My favourite slope was located on the back of the mountain…you had to take the lift all the way up and ski around the top of the mountain. Eventually, you skied past a copse of evergreens and, as you cleared the stand, the entire mountain range would open up before you; a vista nonpareil.
The slope itself was a challenging blue culminating in a particularly steep section at the end that always put my heart in my throat. My uncles and I would race down, swooping in graceful figure eights, spraying snow into the air.
One day, we were skiing at pace, and my uncle caught my eye, gesturing with a pole to a sparse stand of trees to the left. “Look!” he shouted, “Fresh powder!! Best snow on the mountain!”
I nodded and we changed directions with a synchronous swish.
He was a few feet ahead of me as we headed into the powder…plenty of time for me to watch his skis hit the powder…and come to a dead stop. SMACK, he went face down in the snow. He managed to lift his head and brush the snow off his goggles just in time to turn and watch me do the same.
Dead stop. SMACK into the snow. Groaning and sputtering, I pulled my head up. “BEST SNOW ON THE MOUNTAIN?!?!”