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.


NikolaiNikolai is a Minnesota native who loves the outdoors.


  • Tara Bales

    I seem to be reading a lot of your stuff. Again, excellent descriptions. I found myself resenting being stuck in a classroom while reading this. That being said, I wanted to mention that I initially misread beacon as bacon and was very disappointed. 🙂

  • Brandon

    Straight from the heart, I wrote a paper on how Nature is Therapeutic. You said “this is my kind of meditation”, do you believe nature is therapeutic?

  • Alise Arnold

    I love how your poem expresses the urgency to just get outside and GO. I can fully relate to this as I am a person who loves the outdoors as well. You had some very fun and interesting lines to your poem. I like the one where you had about gathering all your gear, just going through a mental list like that is exactly how it has to be sometimes. Also the part about your car and not having studs and how it was “lame” it seemed like we (the audience/reader) was really able to engage in your thoughts and kind of “join” you in your adventures in this poem, that line made your poem more engaging to the audience––or at least in my mind it did–– and was one of my favorite parts about it. Awesome job!

  • Christopher Miller

    Whoa gotta get out to the pow. This poem is very motivational and something akin to what i often feel like in class.

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