The early morning rays cast long shadows on the slopes today and the runs were sprinkled with magic. I could tell a noticeable difference between the snow that had already begun to warm and that which sat in the shadows. The contrast between light and dark, or sun and shade, is extremely noticeable and might dictate where you ski.
Everywhere I turned I became more aware of the subtle undulations of the mountain. Westward facing slopes on the Sundown side of the mountain get the first glimpse of the day’s breaking sunlight while shadowed areas like lower Rainbow, Nelson’s Run, and Twister sat in a state of cold hibernation. Our southern facing trails seem to be experiencing the full force of the long, warm days and are probably the most difficult to keep covered in blissful, packed snow. The overnight grooming crew has been doing a wonderful job in these areas keeping our mountain as fresh as the morning air.
As I skated my way around the resort today, I couldn’t help but get sucked into the immaculate beauty all around. The way the sun dashed shimmering lines across the trail brought my senses to a hyper-aware state of mind. I found myself stopping more often than most days to try and visually capture the jaw-dropping natural “art” I saw in every direction. Of course the lens of my camera isn’t quite as attune to the nuances of my third-eye view, so most of my photos came up short of what was swirling in my mind. But the main message I’m trying to send today is to enjoy every aspect of your experience up there and don’t forget to soak it all in.
The ironic part of my post today is that by the time you read this the sun will most likely be hanging directly above. The late-day warmth will soften our snow to a mild state of slush and the shadows I saw this morning will be virtually nonexistent. But don’t forget the message behind the story here. Don’t let a long March day on Mt. Werner with family and friends be taken for granted. Because if you love this place as much as I do, then you tend to cherish every moment.
Dave Wittlinger, Alpine skier