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No Friends On A Powder Day?????

No friends on a powder day? I beg to differ.That comment is sounded often, and it tends to irk me. Friends, and powder together means exponential fun. This should apply to all skiers and riders. Seeing a friends ear to ear grin, eating, chocking on, and shralping powder is great. Not only is it fun but it is also a question of safety. We all like to ski safe on a powder day! There are many hazards to consider, just the other day while skiing 40″plus of freshies (by myself) at MT Rose  in the Sierra I went head over tea kettle and planted my head deeply in the snow. With my feet up in the air, my head facing downhill and  backwards I struggled to clear my face and catch my breath. My head was covered with at least 20″ of snow. As I attempted to clear my face, more snow fell over me, time, and time again. At least a minute of struggle was required just be able to breath and cough out a throat full of  powder. 10 minutes where needed to catch my breath and dig myself out. No one was around, should I have landed differently it could have been a much more serious story. Its documented that people have expired in powder.  Tree wells, hidden rocks, small sloughs,gear malfunctions, limited resort knowledge, even minor injuries could lead to being stranded on the slopes. Skiing in the frigid temps of a storm and soaked, it wouldn’t take long to fall victim to exposure. They call it the buddy system for a reason.  With your friends around, you can count on poaching snacks, exchange music, and depending on the relationship so much more! I do have my fantasies.

Steve, Saddleback Mountain Resort

Again, during the recent storm cycle at Mt Rose, I caught the last chair as they shuttered the mountain do to wind. Trying to get the longest ski out, I took a high traverse and proceed down the slope in belly button deep powder. It was a total white out, 60+ MPH winds 16 degrees, no one else but me was out there. Then out of the corner of my eye I see a frost covered guy standing on the side of the trail waving to me. I skied over and the guys was freaking out, “how do I get to the base lodge”, “I’m lost”, ” my friends abandoned me”. Being the type of guy I am, I said come on dude follow me! I got a great smile out of a new friend! Terror turned to delight as we skied down. His powder skills where limited at best, I gave him a few pointers and we continued to ski down. We’ve all been there, extreme weather and conditions,  a first time visit to the mountain, head spinning. Thats why you ski with friends, powder, or not! Finally at the base lodge my new friend caught up with his friends, wow what language echoed. While I am writing this from the mighty Sierra, It also applies to skiing in New England.

Matt Tinker, friend, smile, powder face shot, Saddleback Mountain Resort Maine

Matt Tinker, friend, smile, powder face shot, Saddleback Mountain Resort Maine

 

There are quite a few resorts in New England that friends on a powder day are essential. Skiing at Saddleback Mounatin Resort a remote ski area in Maine. This Mountain is expansive, and deep!  One wrong turn and your in Quebec City. When you ski with friends on a powder day you are combining your knowledge of the mountain. This helps map out a powder strategy. Enabling freshies on every run. Maybe Nightmare Glade first, then Casablanca, Saddleback’s newest and biggest glade. Then maybe runs off the summit. Killington Vermont the behemoth of New England ski resorts, has signs posted near its boundaries states, “Tonight will be as cold as it was 200 years ago, don’t ski alone”. That sums it up!
Jim Quimby, Friend, belly button deep in powder at Saddleback Mountain Resort Maine

Jim Quimby, friend, belly button deep in powder at Saddleback Mountain Resort Maine

I love my friends, I love powder skiing. The next time your skiing powder with friends take the time to feel the karma of the relationship, the synergy will take you higher then any summit. Perhaps it will even save your life!

 

One Response to “No Friends On A Powder Day?????”

  1. Cory Neill says:

    I want to tele in those trees. I love a powder day with my mates especially a night ski. Or a powder day at the resort. Skiing together, even spooning. Drop knees, not bombs. Telemark!

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