Look Ma, no poles!
Ahoy, Steamboat! Wow. It is awfully nice to be back among you, my fun and fabulous mountain-loving comrades! I’ve been on an unfortunate break from Straight Talk because … well … I’ve been broken. A month ago, I made a wonky turn while flying down Vagabond, threw my arm out as a brake, and broke my wrist.
Yep, it’s true. I’m the lone known freeheeler with a broken wrist suffered while skiing. Awkward, I know. Being that this is a routine snowboard injury, the emergency room docs wouldn’t stop referring to my boarding fall. When I got the green light to ski again (yesterday!), they sent me off to “ride” once again. Yeah, well, I’m riding … riding my teles with no poles, a cast, and a whole lot of glittery new titanium inside my wrist. Riding carefully, with a super-size mitten.
I was so excited to ski again this morning that I arrived early for First Tracks. What I found is a whole lot of beautiful packed powder groomed with precision. Sunshine lift line. Two O’Clock. Westside. Rolex. Yum, yum, yum and yum.
I’m acutely aware that Steamboat has been rejoicing in the return of winter storm cycles and a whole lot of deep pow during the past month. With joy and angst, I’ve been watching it puke outside my window. Darwin and Newton, my dogs, have enjoyed the onslaught of freshies immensely, particularly since those are days when they would have normally missed out on long snow-snorting hikes. I longed for those luscious fat turns ya’ll were making on the mountain.
Today, the result of those storms is extra-carvy, lightly packed powder under a bluebird sky. Steamboat’s string of storms have left a little slice of heaven in their wake. Hurricane with a fresh groom. Middle Rib. Yum and yum. And I assure you that neither spring break nor the voracious appetites of local powder pigs have exhausted what’s in the trees. I spy a ton of great snow yet to be tracked.
So, now it’s March. We’re veering into spring, the final five weeks of ski season, and I’m ever so pleased to report that conditions are downright delicious. There is a string of sunny days ahead, with cold nights helping to preserve our snow. That’s just how March rolls in Steamboat. We’re spoiled that way (really, in so many ways).
And best of all, I’m skiing again! I’m giddy! It’s glorious!
Also, it’s weird. Skiing without poles is a chance to re-evaluate technique and commiserate with my boarding amigos on all flat-out experiences. I’m paying more attention to where my hands are placed. My tele turn is a little deeper. Today, I’m skiing a little bit slower while I re-orient my balance and my thighs experience a tenuous quiver.
Waste not a single chance to get out and ski. That’s my mantra for the rest of the season.
Better yet, waste not a single chance to ski AND après ski! It’s concert season in Gondola Square. Free music, fire pits and a rockin’ Umbrella Bar every Saturday (plus a grand finale April 12 with Steel Pulse) through the end of the season. This week we’re being treated to the return of the Groovetrotters, who will be bringing on the Funk while we slurp down our sun-drenched beers.
While I have your attention, dearest admirers of all things Steamboat, I want to toss in a quick shout-out for local art! Tonight is First Friday Artwalk – that one special evening each month when we get to saunter around downtown, slip into galleries, restaurants and tattoo parlors that support local art, sip wine and catch up with community. And did I mention all the cool art?! Especially cool this month is the Ranchlands exhibit opening at the Depot Art Center, which features art inspired by time spent on our working ranches.
See you on the slopes this waning full moon weekend. After this morning’s turn and burn, I sense that my newly re-minted ski legs have a lot of catching up to do.
In the infinite wisdom of Dr. Seuss, whose 111th birthday was this week…
“Today is gone.
Today was fun.
Tomorrow is another one.”
Goodness gracious … it’s awfully nice to be back on the slopes, and I have a shadow selfie to prove it!
p.s. That’s from One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish in case those infamous words are tickling your memories.
Jennie Lay, Telemark skier