Before I moved to Utah in 1998 I ‘skied’ back east in New York at places like Greek Peak and Swain, but I didn’t become a ‘skier’ until I had around 80 days under my belt in Little Cottonwood Canyon. And let me add, looking back, I am glad I survived those first 80 ski days! I was chasing around Fish Solo and Jim Jack just trying my best to keep them in sight. The first time I climbed up to Eddie’s with the crew I let them all go first. Then when I dropped in, I lost a ski. I never found it, but Darren Marshall did; three months later in a duct taped bundle of single skis next to the Deep Powder House. Getting down from Eddie’s on a powder day with one ski was perhaps the best workout I have ever had in Alta to this day!!
At any rate, I never really learned to carve and understand the true nature of the turn until my 3rd or 4th season in the Wasatch. I was a good athlete and I could get down the hill safely (cough), but it was all about charging and challenging my instincts. In the last five years, however, I’ve slowed it down in my head, committed to the turn and finally arrived full circle to the spiritual aspect of sweat and tears that follow a top-to-bottom Highboy on a blower pow day. Ahh…just the thought makes me grin with content.
I still like to push limits, feel myself in the air and billy goat around technical terrain…but there’s nothing like the turn. In fact, last weekend we went to Deer Valley, and the first thing I did was hit the Rossi demo yurt and get myself some 170 Rossi carve/race skis. I proceeded to arc massive 40 mph turns on wide, perfectly groomed, people-free runs and I had the time of my life! Yep, we love powder. But if it doesn’t return this season as we know it I’ll be back at DV carvin’ it up, and lovin’ it!