So as we switch our calendars another digit forward, today is an even more special day than most. To be out in nature at the dawn of a new year I can’t help but feel a sense of optimism. Sure, there is still a lot of unrest in the world. But something about fresh mountain air in one’s lungs gives one a renewed perspective of the good things to come.

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The Pioneer Ridge area of the mountain was especially quiet this morning. Schussing down runs like Middle Rib and stopping to look around for a moment, I was reminded just how large this resort really is. Perhaps it’s because most of town is still sleeping off last night’s festivities, but I couldn’t help but feel that I had the place to myself.
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The sun was rising over by Sunshine so I elected to jet over there as well. Slipping around the edge of Sundial and hugging the edge of Tomahawk was a carve ski’s delight. From there I kept left and squirreled my way through Baby Powder. Once again, my motivation today was to find peace in the calm that is our ski area on a day such as this. It wasn’t hard to capture a glimpse of the early morning light and be reminded that life here is pretty great. Escaping the grip of the city was a choice I made many years ago and I’ve never looked back. Today’s skiing and riding will bring anyone into the right frame of mind to tackle 2017, you can bet on that.
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So if you’re looking for your own slice of heaven, whatever form that takes for you, I encourage you to get your tail to the mountain. Take a ride up the gondola and explore from there. Because it doesn’t matter which direction you choose, you can’t go wrong when you’re celebrating new year’s day on snow. Get out, laugh like a child and vow to make this year one for the memory bank. Don’t let the slightest moment pass without deep appreciation for how wonderful this world would be if everyone took time to play in the mountains.
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Happy trails and happy new year!

Dave Wittlinger, Alpine skier

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