Skier Susan Matelich revels in perfect Big Sky powder
TIME WARPS slightly on a perfect bluebird powder day, and while I felt my turns in slow motion, when I looked at my watch, I was already supposed to be back in the office.
It had all started that morning when Davey, one of Big Sky’s snow reporters, updated the snow phone with fresh news from the top of the tram: “It’s a powder day, Montana! We have 12-24 inches of new snow.”
Holy cold smoke! Did he say 24 inches? That couldn’t be right. I had waded through some fresh powder in the parking lot, but two feet? Immediately, my phone rang.
“Did I just hear the snow reporter say 12 – 24 inches?” Victor DeLeo, Big Sky’s senior sales manager asked from the other end of the line.
“I think so… Does that sound right? Let me see what’s going on.”
I approached Davey, a new hire, about to correct his mistake. He had said 24 inches of new snow, but he must have meant 24 inches over the last 24 or 48 hours, not new snow overnight.
But just as I was about to lecture Davey on the importance of snow-phone accuracy, Jimbo from ski patrol walked in. “Greer,” he said, “today is the day to quit your job. Just leave and go skiing. It will be worth it.”
Davey had been right – ski patrol had measured 12-24 fresh inches from the last night’s storm. It was officially a big fat powder day.
Jimbo’s advice was tempting. The lifts were opening in a half an hour and the skies had cleared to a deep, perfect blue. I wondered briefly if I would get fired for disappearing from 9:00 to 4:00… maybe everyone would think I was just in a really long meeting. Instead, I decided to play it safe and hit the slopes on my lunch break.
A tram lap would take me over my hour of allotted lunch time, so I waded into knee-deep snow at the top of Snake Pit and stood for a moment, taking in the sparkling snow and the jagged Spanish Peaks. Visibility was perfect, the snow was pristine, and I laughed to myself at the incredibility of it all – how the elements can all align into a perfect ski day like this one, and how I can sneak off to enjoy it, if just for an hour. I jumped into my first turns, and time seemed to stop.
But it didn't, and with a glance at the clock I realized my time was already up. Nervous I was being missed in the office, I dashed through the powder piles on Africa and ran back inside, apologies and excuses racing through my head. But when I walked in, the air seemed strangely quiet. Offices were dark and skis were gone. They say there are no friends on a powder day. No co-workers, apparently, either.
Check out March conditions on BSPN
Blue skies and powder on Snake Pit