When I think back on my best days of skiing, the list is almost innumerable. It’s become cliché for skiers to claim that the day prior was “their best ever” or “deepest snow I’ve ever skied” and I’m just as guilty as the rest. Friends even tell me that my enthusiasm after a good day is misplaced and overstretched, usually across an aprés bar where a series of hyperbolic statements get made.
That said, I’m no snob and powder days are just one of the “best days ever.”
The other days, which include 1” deep windbuff that feels more like 1′ and slushy hero bumps in April fall under the same umbrella. But maybe what’s better than these niche condition days are the hard-pack days in mid January, when low-tide is still in effect and the catwalks are serving up tasty hip jumps and transfers. So instead of skis dropping into fall line blower, I’ll pole hard over icy flats in the hope of completing a sick 180 in front of the skiing public.
That’s right, getting rad doesn’t just happen on backcountry booters. Geting rad happens on the cat-track as well.
Lap after lap, the runs start getting better and before I know it, I’m linking 3,000 vertical feet worth of cat track jib lines. My air awareness finally starts to kick in and tucked up shifty’s become easy and the occasional 360 comes into play. Unfortunately, we can’t all be Candide and I’ll have to settle for a uncoordinated helicopter instead of a double cork 720. So it goes…
Proof: Casual Shred in Jackson
But that doesn’t lessen the excitement. In fact, the prospect of coming out of a flailing 360 to a group of ski schoolers pizza’ing down the cattrack makes it that much more thrilling.
And why shouldn’t it be. The cattrack is where we learned to ski and ultimately we are drawn back to it by necessity and virtue. The virtue being, there is no better place on a hard-pack day to put that styled out shifty in your back pocket of “check me out” moves.