Six of the best things that happen when you’re on the slopes
It goes without saying that any day on the slopes is a good day. There is a scale, though, in which “good” ranks at the low end and “phenomenal” ranks on the high end. For a day to rank on the highest point of phenomenal, the stars must align with a handful of quintessential qualities throughout the day. They include …
1) Fresh snow followed by sun. The propensity for this occurrence is delightfully high in March, when Mother Nature typically bestows Breckenridge with heaps of her two greatest gifts – snow and sun. There is no greater “Best” then starting your day with the magical combination of fresh powder gleaming under the rays of sun, each snowflake casting its own shining twinkle.
2) Fresh tracks. Obviously this is something that doesn’t simply just “happen.” You have to set your alarm for this one (unless you have that internal clock that starts clanging like a gong when POWDER registers into your subconscious). Skimming silently over an untouched white blanket as the soft shower of powder erupts upon the trail your blazing – sometimes into a fluffy fountain that spouts as high as your face (ie: face shots … definitely a highlight and defining characteristic of this category) – is as close as you’ll ever come to riding a cloud.
3) Stepping up your game. Be it tackling a run that’s always intimidated you, stomping a trick in the park, riding switch, whatever it means to ratchet your riding up to the next level – brings instant satisfaction not just in your day, but in your whole human experience. That vote of confidence stays with you in all areas of life. We all want to improve as people … especially in something we love.
4) Meeting cool people on the lift. True that some of the most interesting people you come across can be found while making small talk at the bar, at the dog park, with the person sitting next to you on the plane, etc. But the bonding that can happen in the 5 to 10-minute span of a chairlift ride is miraculous. Starting with the fact that you and your lift mates already share some common ground (love of skiing/riding), the conversation has the potential to soar. Who knows. You could meet your new BFF or even your soul mate.
5) Feeling a oneness. Dovetailing on the aforementioned point, when you’re halfway through the day and have already had vibrant chats with a number of people on the lift as well as taken in the gleeful whooping, hollering and general air of euphoria all around you on a powder day – there is an unquestionable peace that sets in. Call it an awareness of a higher power, a greater good … heaven. It’s that warm sensation that we are in fact, all of the same blood – at least here in this happy snow globe. Those of us lucky enough to be here are on top of the world today.
6) Getting fresh tracks at 3 p.m. – It’s truly special and admittedly rare when this happens. It takes A), the uncontrollable circumstances of nature – when it starts seriously dumping in the morning or at mid-day and voila, here’s your untouched line ripe for ripping in the afternoon … or B), a little work and/or exploration on your part. Take a hike up to the summit of Peak 6, out to the Lake Chutes or up the road along the ridge of Peak 9 and there the gleaming ray of light will fall upon it … the treasure of pure tracks that is yours to swim through feet first.