This experience was much different than the traditional seasonal starter. Trading in that handful of low angle turns for serious, committing terrain in mid winter condition the first week of October. To say it was a shock to the system and understatement. Looking back at the photos and reliving the experience seems unbelievable and surreal. From an outside perspective I would have trouble believing it was possible this time of year. A committing run for the first of the season a quick way to shake the summer rust off the old legs. The first few turns feeling mechanical and forced eventually gave way to the instinctual fluid motion of the turn so familiar to your legs mid season. Although the physical act of snowboarding comes back to you fairly quick much like riding a bike, the mental act of snowboarding is delayed. While my body remembered what it was like to make turns down a committing run after a handful of turns, my mind went into a whirlwind. The experience felt surreal, as if I was in a dream state. To this day it still feels like it didn't actually happen, like a wonderful dream. It felt to good to be true and thoughts of luck and amazement overtook my mind that day.
Most first days are filled with issues from not having your mountain preparation and repetition on lock down. Somehow the day went off without a hitch which is rare. I owe much of this to the strong team I was lucky enough to join, and the local wealth of knowledge that Casey has for most areas in these parts. I am still in amazement in the amount of ground he has covered in Montana with utter dedication. Although it was my first day, winter has been good east of the divide and my partners had multiple days of good skiing under their belt already. I think the success can be attributed to having such a strong, like minded crew.
In the end three aesthetic couloirs on this beautiful peak were rode on a perfect day in perfect riding condition. Just riding one of them would have been worth the 7 hours of driving. For most tours you spend the entire day setting yourself up to ride one couloir of this caliber. It may be some time before I have a day quite like this as couloir riding typically waits till mid winter but I am hopeful to be carving turns down tight rock walls again soon. The icing on the cake getting out with such a strong team and sharing the experience unlike any other.
|3rd line in the morning light|
|1st line of the year|
|Cody 1st line|
|Casey in the whiteroom|
|Entering the pinch on Line #2|
|Up at line #2|
|Dropping Line #3|