Having skied my legs off the past eight days I took a breather Saturday morning to soak the bones and rest the legs. But egged on by my roommate, and pestered by the nagging thought of being the Heather possibly opening, I decided to trudge up the hill mid day anyways. I am glad I did. By time I got on the mountain, word was buzzing of an opening. I had to know so I hussled down to HQ, and there sitting on my desk in big sharpie bold letters was the note I was waiting for. “Heather open 1:08 pm. Call this the handoff. Phones are updated. Get your a** out to the canyon stat. Freshies await.”
Scroll down to see a video on Heather
So here it is December 4th and we’re already dropping fresh lines in Heather! Hard to believe, but there I was caught off guard and without notice that I had better strap up and ship out if I wanted the fresh lines I had been salivating over for the past three weeks. I raced through the lodge skis flailing, gear shaking, nerves pumping, blood racing just itching to get out and ride. But when I got back to the office I remembered I had a meeting to join up the Pac Rats ski league. It was one of those “yeah, uh huh” kind of meetings while strapping into my boots and pulling my under layers on. With confirmation that I was on the team in hand, the fastest 20 minute turned to eight-minute meeting I have ever had, I was out the door and flying up the mountain eager as a kid on Christmas. The snow did not disappoint.
Already tracked up by the mouth watering, eye ogling riders who like me had been waiting all year for fresh tracks in the canyon, at 1:45pm, I descended in from Twilight hanging skiers right for the steep pow stashes to be found in the trees right of Moon Bowl but somewhere left of AbMag. There stashed away in the wintery wonderland were nice natural features pleading to be hit; steep tree lines that hadn’t been run, nice slot canyons that haven’t been filled in yet by mid winter snows, and tons of powder to be hit if you just knew where to go.
Conditions today were pretty stellar for an early opening. Heavy buttery smooth fresh pow with deep love and forgiveness in the trees, plenty of coverage; just the kind of conditions for a have-at-it fest in the canyon.
I left the Heather today against my will, but agreeing with my burning legs. It was time to go. The conditions had to be reported, the story had to be told. Duty bound, and eager to rub it in to my roommate who took his ride break at noon before the canyon opened, covered head to toe in white, snow dripping from my goggles and packed into my helmet, I ran out Heather Canyon Run Out for a silent meditation and reflection of the absolute beauty the mountain has to offer. That silence didn’t last.
Back at MComm everyone is abuzz with stories from ride buddies dropping by to share the best hits of the day. “It’s going to be the season of the Witch,” I deem it, and someone yells, “Bring it on La Niña, we love you.”
The boot warmers are buzzing here at MComm. The gear drying out. It’s only December 4th, and I’ve already received my Xmas wish. Do your snow dance Meadows, and I’ll see you in the Canyon.
From the Fall Out Shelter, hunkered deep in the MComm lair. This is Nick @ Nite reminding you that early season conditions exist, now go out and ride them.
And now a video shot by Mt. Communications (MComm) team members Temira Wagonfeld and Pierce Hodges - edited by Pierce. Enjoy!