The storms came and the snow fell and the mountain was covered. So covered, in fact, that they could not open due to a power outage and a nearly-impassable road. But open, eventually, they did. This past Monday Mount Ashland ran one—just one—chairlift and skiers from all over thronged to the gates. The snow was deep and fluffy and was cut up in a hurry by the skiing-starved hordes. My buddy and I managed to find some good stuff. It was hard going for me at first as it always takes me a while to find my legs. The surface was soft and ski-able but inconsistent and well-churned. As the day progressed I managed to find a rhythm and got in some good sequences. The last run was a trip to The Void where it was waist-deep. I got stuck at the top in a quicksand-like patch but dug myself out for what was almost a swim down the steep pitch to just above the parking lot. I missed the spot I wanted and had to traverse over a vertical stretch before finding an outlet. Two quick turns on the steep wall and I slid down to the snow-covered pavement and skied it back to my truck. Glorious!
We are going to take another stab at it tomorrow morning. Maybe this winter will finally give us the ski season we’ve been waiting for. And perhaps the snows will finally give us all some relief from the drought. Nature is a harsh mistress. No guarantees. But a good start, to be sure.