My First (And Only, So Far) Powder Day

When the alarm clock started shrieking at 6:45 yesterday morning, I’m pretty sure that the only reason I didn’t throw something at it was because that would have required movement.  And movement is exactly the sort of thing I wanted to avoid, because all I wanted to do was sleep.  I believe (I’m a bit fuzzy on the details) that I voiced my displeasure though.

The ski season was almost over at Massanutten; most of us were pretty convinced we wouldn’t make it past the 12th or so.  Then, a freak snowstorm brought a night of snowfall and temperatures in the mid-20’s to the valley.  This loaded the slopes with some natural snow, and allowed the snowmaking staff to run the guns for two nights.

I managed to get up, dressed, ready for work, and on the road by 7:15.  It was snowing, and the roads were horrible.  As I carefully picked my way east on 33, I passed a snowplow cruising along, blade up, hopper spraying no salt on the road.  “A lotta good that does…” I muttered to myself as I drank my morning coffee and tried not to spin out on snow covered road.

I arrived at work with minutes to spare, and hustled into the patrol room…only to be met with very curious looks and “hey, what are you doing here?”

Turns out, I wasn’t scheduled and actually had the day off.

I carefully considered my options:  1) become frustrated at waking up hours earlier than necessary and then negotiating the treacherous roads on my 45 minute commute in the snow, and then go home and take nap with the cat, or 2) since I’m already here…and my skis are in the car…with all my gear…

15 minutes later I was out waiting for the lift.  I got first chair after the patrol, and was one of the first 5 non-patrollers down the hill.  Snow was still falling, the wind was calm, and the mountain was quiet.  The snow was perfect; 6 inches of soft, silent powder on essentially un-touched slopes.

I don’t think skiing will ever be quite as much fun now that I’ve skied in powder!  Now I know why skiers wait for powder days with rabid anticipation!