On Saturday afternoon, a blustery, charcoal sky spit snow, ending a week-long stretch of high pressure in Big Sky. I skied Challenger between 3:00 and 4:00 pm when this new velvety layer began bonding to northerly aspects: 17th Green, BRT’s, Moonlight, and PH. My skis hadn’t been tuned for months, yet I easily carved turns on this fresh, thin layer. As conditions improved by the minute, I wished the lifts operated past 4:00pm.
The storm continued into the night as the annual Snow Bar Party bounced to DJ Radam’s beats. I wasn’t sure if the crowd was celebrating the music, or the flakes falling on their heads. No doubt, Sunday was going to be a powder day.
Swift Current loaded a few dozen skiers at 9am. When the first posse reached the tram, we barley had enough bodies to fill the first cabin. Mike Duke and I skied the Big Couloir at 9:30, and no one signed up behind us. The solitude felt eerie. A sunny powder day, and few skiers?
On this powder day, we skied a snow-type classically referred to as blower—low moisture content, typically found after cold storms and calm winds. The kind of snow that leaves plumes large enough behind a skier’s tails to cover four more skiers. You sink into every inch of it. For the telemark skier, that was the thighs.
The vacant tram rides continued the entire day, so we lapped Lone Peak repeatedly. I wondered, where was everyone? But when the blower wisped my face, I no longer cared.
Enjoy your solitude.