It had snowed all week and then the sky opened up for one of our famous blue-bird days which really brings the name Big Sky to life. I was invited to spin a few laps with a really fun crew from Bozeman along with Meg from the office so while skipping lunch, it was time to ski, Right Now.
We coordinated and congregated in the base area and after some brief introductions, without really much of a plan we naturally skated over to Swift Current. At the top the call was made to get to the top of the Tram. Our friends hadn’t skied up there yet this winter so we had the honor of guiding them down their first lap and the word at the Tram was Marx was open. On top of Lone Peak, standing at 11,150 feet, I could tell with the smile, Jason had found himself back at home, he called it “paradise” and it truly was one of those days when I myself have to take a moment to take it all in. I pointed out the tip top of the Grand Teton that was jutting through distant, low clouds to the south and Fan mountain to the west was amazing to stare at, but enough site seeing, it's time to ski!
We picked our way through the snow fence on upper Liberty and rolled toward the Yeti Traverse until we were in position at the top of Marx. The key to that run Right Now is to take it easy on the steepest section above the rock band as you want to negotiate that with care. But once you’re level with the Gullies Traverse line, it’s nothing but a big, wide, perfect bowl of above tree line skiing that most places would require the Technology of a helicopter to access.
The snow was cut up, but really soft and Meg picked the right line with her speed, balance and grace that drew comments from the Bozeman friends with Jason taking off close behind . Dan Nichols is no slouch on skis neither, and tore off with a puff of flying snow to work his way to the bottom. Karyn savored the soft snow, making turns like she’s been spinning laps every day since the Tram opened in early December.
At the bottom near the Duck Walk, gazing up at the giant run above us, we didn't need a signal from the third base coach to know where we’d be going next, the battle cry was thrown that we’d be doing that again and we rounded toward second!
Having worked out any of the unknown factors from the first run, the second one seemed to be that much more fun. The group graciously let me go first and I stayed in the center for the first few turns then hung a hard right to get the soft snow Meg and Dan had the run before. Now at the bottom we had to have a brief discussion if we should be getting back to the office, a difficult one considering how amazing the day had been between the good friends, great snow and epic weather. But Meg said if Dax skis another one, she would, I figured if Meg skis another, then I must, so I think by committee we came to the undeniable, absolute, right decision to lap on around and get one more Marx for our triple.
Now that we’ve mastered all the finer points of this run it was time to really let them run, at the bottom with smiles Meg and I said goodbye to Dan, Jason and Karyn and treated ourselves to a guilty pleasure, smoothly groomed Calamity Jane to get back to the base area. It was like the next batter hit a home-run while we were on third and we got to trot easily to home base.
I may say this often, but this has been my favorite ski day for the season so far, the snow’s been great since Thanksgiving and I’ve gotten to ski deeper snow, but when you combine the friends, the sun and the run all together, it truly has all the ingredients of what we all yearn for in the mountains.
We’ll see you out there,