The Line of the Week
Squaw Valley USA
The snow report said, 10 inches of fresh up high. I looked out the window and saw a 1/2 inch on the porch. It’s always hard to gauge these types of situations. How is that even possible? The first text came in. My lift mechanic buddy said the conditions were primo. I did the ten minute pow day routine; grabbed my clothes off the floor, snarfed down some cereal, poured hot water in the tea cup, warmed the truck and hit the road.
I got the text from Eric Bryant as I was sitting in bumper to bumper traffic on 89. “What the hell is going on here?”, I thought. “It’s Monday!” The text said, “Upper mountain looks socked in, got fifth chair on KT, the Nest looks spiny.” It was only on 8:20 but I realized I was going to be late.
I raged some tunes, hit some back roads, put on my boots and did that high-speed ski boot strut to KT. The line was bigger then I thought it would be but not that bad. And besides a single in the KT line can do things couples can’t. Eric found me at the back of the line. I asked him the unthinkable, “Can you wait for me?” We all know that no one waits for anyone at this mountain.
As I approached the Fingers the clouds began to clear and the light popped. The gray turned to blue and I could hear people hooting and hollering in the distance. “Do it!”,”Send it”, “Yeah!” I could see Eric’s red jacket standing atop the Nest. There was no one else up there, there was no rush. The masses were flocking to Headwall.
I posted up, gave the hand signal and Eric dropped in. It was his first descent down McConkey’s. He hopped diagonal down the top section, made a couple turns and aired a section at the bottom into ten inches of blower fluff. It was face shots galore and just the start of one of the best ski days of the year…
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The Line of the Week is a weekly photo piece by Ryan Salm featuring some of Tahoe’s finest athletes doing whatever we deem rad. We will be using the term “Line” loosely to describe anything resembling chutes, big airs, pointers or any general madness. All images are the property and copyright of Ryan Salm Photography. All images are only to be used in conjunction with the Line of the Week. Any other usage must be cleared in writing by Ryan Salm.