Sore and Glad to be Sore

Apparently over six feet of snow fell on Bolton Valley over the past week. That is pretty nuts. That is a lot of snow. Their total for the year so far was 272 inches when I checked earlier. When we lived up there we had a few 300-inch years. Those were good years. This one is shaping up to be in the running.

I left later than I wanted this morning but I finally got my gear together and headed up there. I was solo. My wife stayed home with the children while I skied. I was riding the lift about an hour after they opened. Come to think of it, the lift I was riding might have opened a little later than the others, so maybe I was only a half hour behind first tracks, but I did pretty well. There was plenty of untracked powder for me to track up. I only skied for an hour and a half but that was about all I could take.

I would ride up, ski down and hop right back on. No dallying for me. Since I telemark, deep snow means lots of up and down. For someone who has not skied much this winter, it also means sore thighs. I could feel the burn as I hopped and carved. I did stop in the middle of runs more than once, to take a break and catch my breath, but also just to marvel at the snow. It was deep and beautiful and wondrous.

I don’t know how many runs I took. Plenty, I suppose. I got way tired and had lots of fun. Snow that deep feels just plain dreamy. Floating on it feels like flying. I sometimes compare it to whitewater boating. Both offer the sensation of fluid movement, where one feels partly in control and partly in the flow of gravity and the elements. Catching a turn or a wave just right makes me feel a union of sorts with the world.

That is what life is about–the feeling of being so in the moment, feeling so part of your little piece of the world, that all else falls away. Joy, that’s what it is. Call it idealistic if you will, or even foolish, but if you do, I am guessing you have never had the feeling. It can come from other things as well, I am sure.  These are two that I know.

Driving home I could feel my sore muscles with every depression of the clutch. It reminded me that I should get out there more. I should take the time to get out there, and I should make sure my kids get to know that feeling of joy through experience. I am sore, but I hope to get out there again tomorrow. We will take the kids, but we will also get a few runs in ourselves, just to see if there is some powder still to cut up somewhere on the edge of the trail. Maybe I will find a spot tomorrow to ride the fluff again, even for just a few turns.