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Life, Fully Lived.

"Why do I climb for hours for a handful of turns in untracked snow? Why do I grin and dance afterwards? Why is fun such and anemic answer to the question above?

Powder snow skiing is not fun.

It’s life, fully lived, life lived in a blaze of reality. What we experience in powder is the original human self, which lies deeply inside each of us, still undamaged in spite of what our present culture tries to do to us. Once experienced, this kind of living is recognized as the only way to live- fully aware of the earth and the sky and the gods and you, the mortal playing above them."

-Dolores LaChapelle

I’ve been surrounded by a lot of whooping lately; many squeaks of joy and squeals of bliss. Afterwards, I’ve joined circles of grins and dancing partners. It’s the season of joining friends who are truly living.

The beginning of the 2019 snow season has been filled with incredible turns. Sensitive avy danger has pushed us into the realm of soul turns and chasing puffs of cold smoke was definitely the objective this past week. Whether it was clouds of flying stellars or the hot pow of this past weekend, the second week of December definitely ignited a blaze of reality. Sitting here in reflection, after another great week of skiing, I’m happy, tired, beat up and at peace. I’m incredibly thankful for the opportunity to play out there.

Silverton Avalanche School’s Recreation Avy courses kicked off in earnest this past weekend with the school’s first Level One. It was challenging and exciting to be working with the new AIARE curriculum and a full course of sharp and shred ready students kept our faculty on their toes. Much learning and ample turns were enjoyed by all.

SJMG kicks off with its first Level One Hut Trip this weekend. I’m equally excited for that opportunity. I’m hoping the new systems up at the yurt work for us. I’ll also get to stay at the new lodge this weekend. I’m still in awe how quickly that structure went up. Miners first settled up on Red Mountain Pass in the winter of 1882-83. In 2019, there’s a new chapter of inhabitants adding their narrative to the story of the divide. I’m honored to have a small place in the history of RMP, an environment of such beauty and inspiration that I’m dwarfed by the majesty of it all.

My home in the San Juan Mountains grants a powerful sense of place that keeps me fully aware. And I’m hopeful we’ll get the upper end of the low-impact storm forecast to hit the northern mountains this week. It would be great to freshen up out there- As my colleague from New Zealand likes to say, “we could use a topper!”

In the meantime, there’s still stellar turns and untracked snow to be found out there.

And then there’s always fatbiking to keep us mortals playing outside. Truly blessed for sure. We’ll see you out there!

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