The last run of an extended season. The snow was choppy and pooled with water that sucked the life from my board. The heat of the day was nearly intolerable. And yet, as I rounded the corner behind Facelift, I was once again reminded of the main reason I choose to strap (a piece of plastic on my feet) and throw (myself off the side of mountains)… The mountains are so enchanting, always. They call to me, as you – my most faithful of kingdomites – know to be truth. And what can I do but answer.
The roar of the edge slicing through the hard pack assaults my ears. The cold wind bites my face. My nerves are frayed and my muscles ache from the strain needed to stay upright. Every sense is telling me to stop.
But I’m not listening. All of that is secondary to the serenity and joy of being on the mountain again.
They call to me, as I’ve said before.
They whisper, they shout, they beg, they demand.
I’ve been listening for them and to them my whole life and I know there is only one way to placate them. I must go. I must.
And so I do.
As often as I can.
The possibilities…. Which path to take? The all lead to the same place, but the journey there can be so very different. Fast? Steep? Bumpy? Slow? Soft? Casual?
Sometimes I like to pick the challenging roads. I like the adrenaline rush and the feeling of having accomlished something outside my comfort zone when I make it to the bottom. Sometimes I like to pick the easy runs and just meander peacefully down. And sometimes the mountain laughs at me and make the easy runs difficult too. And sometimes I laugh at the mountain and glide easily down the hard ones.
These are the games we play, when we lose ourselves to the slopes and powder.
I like to stand here and look down into an area I will likely never actually set foot in. I’ve only ever seen it covered in snow, except once when I did make it to this point in the summer. But, for the most part, I have this beautiful untarnished snow covered image of this valley behind Mammoth.
I feel like it is one of those things best viewed from a distance. If I were to snowboard down the backside, out of bounds, or if I were to go hiking into that area in the summer, what I would find when I got there could never live up to the beauty I saw from the top of the mountain. I’ve built it up to such a point in my thoughts that the reality of it could only disappoint me.
So, knowing this, I like to stand here and look down, and behold the beauty of the world as I see it, rather than how it actually is.
The crunch under the board. The shifting, drifting, sliding. The crisp air plucking at my flesh. The warm sun battling back the chill. The clean air filling my lungs. The adrenaline surging through me.
Oh, how I long to be in my beloved mountains, with my beloved Queen, strapped to a piece of plastic and throwing myself off the sides of mountains.