by Nikolai Windahl
The snow out at Turnagain is deep, like really fuckin’ deep.
I sit in class and cannot listen because I know when this power point is over I’m free!
Running to my room, beacon, probe, shovel, helmet, boots, snowboard, jacket, bibs, gloves, snowshoes, poles, everything.
All these items crammed into a specific spot in my backpack.
Galloping to the car my things become projectiles as they shoot into the trunk.
On the road, snowy, icy, no studs, lame.
Death grip on the wheel and too many contracting muscles. Relax. Breathe.
After about two hours of this process I find myself in the Eddies lot with one other car.
Boots on, I don snow shoes and my pack and make it above tree line in an hour.
More snow than this weekend.
I strap in and cruise the deep pow feeling the burn in my hind leg.
My hand behind me feels the constant blowing wave of snow in my wake.
So silent, so deep, this is what I came for.
Up again, I set a pace that I can maintain and enjoy the exercise of switchback after switchback.
Finding a rhythm between breath and movement, this is my kind of meditation.
Standing at the top, the mountains look phantasmagorical, golden light bathes their slopes.
I strap in, shivering from frozen sweat, and smile big as I drop in for another dose of flotation.