There are many of different kinds of skier you can be. You can be a park rat, a racer, a backcountry jibber, a big mountain guy, a resort rider, a backcountry touring animal, a vacationer, a weekend warrior, a full blown aggressive ski as hard as you can everyday addict, or you can be a soul skier. I have been many of these things in the last 10-12 years, but rarely the last type. For the last two days I have given it a try at Alta.
Soul skiing is not just for hippies. It is a really refreshing way to remind yourself why you started all this in the first place. It feels amazing to leave behind the big helmet and the body armor for a couple days and just go ride the snow. The passing of Ryan Hawks has had an effect on skiers around the world and I have been trying to figure out the silver lining. So far I can’t see it, but going out there and soul skiing while thinking about our fallen friend has re-opened my eyes to the simple pleasures of just being on the hill. The adrenaline rush and scare factor had been in the foreground for too long.
The hill was in great shape yesterday with the light going in and out throughout the afternoon. The few inches of snow that had fallen in the morning was getting pushed around by the wind and was quickly re-creaming the mountain. The West Rustler (Buffeler) was in great shape and I saw more people skiing there than you would usually see there in a week. I guess the word was out. There was also still some really nice snow hidden here and there in the North facing trees. Remember to have fun out there, don’t take it too seriously and go hunt down some of that good snow we all love so much.