It was a good day....

gnwatts

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May 19, 2012
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I don't have any pictures. I had my Iphone, but it stayed in my jacket. It was about 30 degrees when I left my house, meeting up with my friend of 20 years in the Tiehack parking lot. He was visiting for a few days. It was going to be a warm day. We pulled our boards off the cars, laced up our boots. I had not boarded in at least a year for various reasons, so I was a little worried. Buttermilk ski area has a reputation as a beginners mountain, as indeed it is, compared to Aspen, Highlands or Snowmass. But Aspen, is, well Aspen. Fur coats and rich people who ski one run and head back to the top to socialize and bloody Mary's. Highlands is pretty intense, no grooming and very steep. We have had many indescribable powder days in Highlands Bowl, with stashes of untracked powder a week after a storm. Snowmass is big and crowded. No bueno.
But Buttermilk is a carvers paradise. Not very steep, but the best, without a doubt, groomed ski slope I have ever been on. Like Augusta golf course. Heading up the main lift I was a little hesitant, not because of the steepness, but my time off the slope. My friend and I used to take every Wednesday at noon off, and then Boarded on Sunday. Sunday's on the mountain became our church. I had my architectural job, and boarding mid week was a requirement when I got my job, if I made up the time. Meetings were never scheduled then. It was something that eventually became something that nurtured our souls. Then My friend moved to New York, and so I missed the Wednesday event. And I could not afford a pass, just a 4 day for the whole year, but I stopped about a year ago.
The corduroy was perfect. It was pretty warm, about 35 degrees when we headed up. My first run was an embarrassment, sliding around, ruining the snow, in the perfect lines of the slope. But towards the bottom I got my old rhythm back. I was never a great snowbarder, but a competent one.
For those who know what a perfect, moderately steep slope with perfect corduroy is, you may understand our expectations. There is a sound, not a vibration, but a slicing sound through the lines on the slope, with incredible grip. I skied for 20 years, but I stored my skis forever after my first day boarding when we lived in Telluride.
The second run I had my old rhythm back. My friend was a better carver than I ever was, perfect long S turns only possible when the slope is uncrowded, which we found early. I never had a carving board, as I liked varied terrain, like deep powder. There is a religious feeling when you can get horizontal (or nearly) dragging your fingers on your front side turn, and your butt almost hitting the slope on a backside turn. But the front side turn is what is special.That digging as your board cuts into the tiny ridges of the snow, with that sound and feeling,not a bumpy feeling, but a slight vibration, as your board holds the turn, your weight transferred to the edge at the apex of the turn. Then the scary transfer to the backside turn, as there is a frightening split second point where your board quickly transfers to your back edge.
The rolling slope was seamless corduroy, as Buttermilk is renowned for it, no ridges. Trying to follow my friend, who laid down perfect lines. we had 4 perfect runs until the crowds showed up. Then we headed over to the Tiehack side, a little steeper, for the best corn I can remember. We had smiles ear to ear. We almost never talked, but we did not need to. After about 10 runs, my legs were spent and burning. We headed down for beers.

It was a good day.
 
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Artemus

I walk
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Joined
Jun 25, 2012
Messages
4,384
Great Greg, that was fun!
Doesn't sound like my (one) snowboarding experience. I went to the bar for beers due to pain....
 

powderglut

In search of Fresh
Joined
Oct 17, 2012
Messages
367
Yahh!!!! That's what I'm talking about! Hard to explain to someone the exhilaration of a good carve when it's all going right.
I sometimes feel like I'm going thru the the motions some mornings (I ski almost every day). Gray and windy, no new snow, rock hard....you know....wah,wah wah! But then...... there are those magic powder days and bluebird groomer days, that light you back up like nothing else. Glad you got lit up!
 

Bob

Trailmaster
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Messages
2,511
Art.........you were in pain because you were on a board, not skiis :) Been hitting Deer Valley last couple of weeks......bluebird days for sure...
 

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