Stowe, VT Yesterday Sam, Mona (our four legged pow hunter) and I pulled into the parking lot on the gondola side of the Stowe base area. We hopped out of the truck and began to unload, only to find an array of rusted pick-ups and overly-stuffed Subaru's on the same mission. Dog's quickly joined forces and romped the expanse of the parking lot, until their skier was ready to take off up the mountain. Each of us in the parking lot chose a different route; with a solid 4-8in base, how could we not all spread out in search of fresh, November tracks. Our morning skin mission marked exactly three months since I crashed in New Zealand, breaking my left wrist and pelvis. I couldn't be more thankful for all the amazing PT work that has gotten me back out on snow far faster and stronger than I could have ever imagined--needless to say my legs felt like cement blocks the whole way up. Sam and Mona charged up Gondolier, skinning through surprisingly dry and crisp November fluff. Little by little, they pulled away, with each step it really became apparent how much of a toll an extended lack of exercise has on your body. Despite a lack of athleticism, I pushed for their heels and couldn't have been happier to get out and climb again--yesterday's summit being the waterfall beneath the gondola. Plopping down in the snow, we sat and starred out across the valley, ever so grateful for the opportunity to be there, healthy and out in the rolling mountains. If the snow conditions yesterday were indicative of what is in store for Vermonters this winter, then it's going to be a banger. I drove my tips, cautiously, through soft clumps of 3 day old pow, never sliding ptex across rock. I was apprehensive and spent far too much time coming down in the back seat, but that one sweeping right-hand turn that sent an explosion of snow over my downhill knee made the day. Sam was on day 4 yesterday. Gnar dog. I made my way down the lift line, piecing together turns until my legs burnt out; creating an opportunity to set up some shots... Getting the goods up top.
Blasting spring turns on the lower half. In the parking lot, the dogs reunited; welcoming new friends, in the waiting stages of their accents. We loaded up the truck and in almost total silence made our way back to Burlington. The fatigue, blended with unscathed bliss, created an environment that needed no words to encapsulate or relive the excitement. It's just good to be back.