This last photo was taken by my friend KT as we took a chair up the back side of the mountain. I’m not a professional photographer, or an artist, though I find a great deal of respect can be given to them in being able to take in a view through their eyes, and translate it perfectly to canvas – capturing every wisp, seemingly effortlessly jumping from pencil tip or lens to mountain top and mountain peak.
I imagine being here before the influx of snowboarding – I imagine I would have seen those clouds and wondered why I couldn’t create that exact line myself. I wonder if that is how the first ride was like – just chasing cloud.
From below, the curves and dips of the mountain sometimes don’t seem so extreme. From afar, avalanche chutes look like gentle slopes and the perfect ride. There have been a few times though, where a gentle run has somehow turned into myself at the edge of a drop that seems to have appeared out of nowhere.We have overhangs along the edge of chutes that I convince my rational mind to ignore in lieu of my more reckless emotional side – because this is what living is all about- trusting that for the ten seconds you float along the edge of that ridge – it’s not going to let go.
This the closest you’ll ever feel to being alive, putting your life in the hands of an entirely fickle and unfeeling force of nature. Knowing you are entirely dependent on the mountain, and the mountain doesn’t give two shits about you . It is eye opening – and also exhilarating. It is just you – especially if you are out of bounds – against the mountains and it’s not a battle you’ll ever win. You just survive it – that’s enough.
It was my last day on the hill yesterday. The last run, if I can admit it without severe repercussions to the prickly, emotionless portrayal of myself, had me a bit teary eyed beneath my goggles.
I can’t really explain what this season has been like for me. Boarding was something I always wanted to do. It’s interesting fulfilling a lifelong dream, because at the end of this season – having accomplished everything I set out to do – I’m not sure what is next.
I feel good, but a little nostalgic for it already. A tad listless.
I’m turning my attention to climbing now. I was able to do a bit last season, but this will be the summer of free, top rope, and lead climbing. I want to do it all.
I never want this adventure to end.