Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Lift tickets die.

My boots hurt my feet, my hands are cold in my gloves and my cheeks burn a winters red. My ass, damp in its pants, freezes slow on the jerky yet scenic chairlift. The clock reads 3:30 and my legs agree, the day is done.

The last run should always been the longest. Your socks should feel the snow and your smile should flap in the wind. The sun slows to a smolder as you give a nod to the operator at the top of paradise. The crowds have dwindled and he wonders when he too can get a cup of something hot. On a clear afternoon you can see the whole valley hibernating. Trees naked, slopes hidden, and gusts of powder sprinkling the unsuspecting walls. Its beautiful in Montana, especially at 3:33.

I strap up and tighten my grip on a game plan. Las time down I found some fresh stuff stuck in between a log and a forest with long arms. Tracks trail my board and gravity goes to work. Lean on my calves, press on my thighs I slap the mounds of soft with the backside of my line. I’m going to see if its still there. There is a tight left turn that got the better of me earlier. Its dangling pine needles slapped my arm and gave warning of worse if I dare return. Its just a fucking tree.

I dodge and indulge and find my basket of clean snow. Pure, lazy, and mine. I turn hard and often until it turns to chop. I cruise the groomers, build up speed and ignore the slow signs. My face refrigerates as the lodge comes into view. Lackluster skis and poles outline the deck and the smoke billows smooth from its spout. I thank my knees and loosen my boots. Beers are sweetest at the bottom of ski days.

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