It isn’t the teacher, the class, or even the kid next to you who won’t stop talking about his wonderful weekend that keeps you from paying attention in class. No, it’s not one of those. It comes down to one simple answer, fresh powder. For anyone who's experienced the bliss of riding light fluffy power and feeling like you’re surfing on clouds and nothing can hurt you, it is inevitable that when winter rolls around, your grades will drop and your focus in the classroom will dissipate. It’s a disease that’s impossible NOT to catch.
With every word that pours out of your teachers mouth, you drift into the same day dream you have every day. As your eyelids close, the snow begins to accumulate. You wake up to the smell of cedar, and the small confinements of your tiny cabin at the base of the local mountain. You spring out of bed to the sight of over a foot of perfect snow crystals surrounding the cabin. As you feed the wood stove and begin to craft your daily cup of joe, the falling snow lightens and you see peeps of blue sky out the window. You think about calling your friends and telling them the news but decide to lie low, remembering the golden rule, “no friends on a powder day”.
As you swing on your gear, you pear outside only to see the heavens open up and sun splash down on the deepest and delicious powder you’ve ever seen. While un-burying your pow skis from the snow the countdown starts in your head. You have 30 minutes to race yourself over to the lifts to catch the first chair and an abundance of face shots.
The lifts look at you longingly as you plop yourself down on the first chair. Without knowing your chair companions, you all look at each other with grins on your faces. The day has begun. As the chair reaches the top you launch yourself off, immediately heading for the steepest and most gnarliest run you can think of. You think about pulling out the go pro but know that no video could do justice to the buttery powder you are about to slash through.
When you reach the top of your chosen run, you peer over the cornice, gaping at the delights that wait you below. You begin to here the hoop and holler of fellow pow seekers loading off the lift and prepare yourself. You say a quick prayer to the snow gods and then fling yourself off the cornice, landing in the most wonderful white dust you’ve ever seen. Weaving yourself through the trees, popping yourself off pillows and receiving face shot after face shot, you can’t help but let out a shout. As you spot a prime lip contender for the infamous backflip, you enter a state of euphoria and launch yourself off the perfectly shaped wind lip and let your weight do the work for you. You land with grace and another face shot. With the lift in sight, you take a few more magical turns and add a little flair and butter to please your fellow friends on the lift above you. As you sneak into the ski instructor line and squeeze onto a chair without getting yelled at you feel the burn of your legs but ignore it, knowing that it’s all worth it.
On the lift you plot your next jaw-dropping run and ignore the gapers next to you going on about how many likes they get on Instagram. As you near the top they notice you and ask you when you got here. You give them a nod and say “enjoy the powder” before off-loading. Without stopping you speed into your next run, putting all dangers aside. As you smear your first turn you enter the white room, only when you emerge you aren’t skiing.
The sound of laughter and the annoying kid next to you fills your ear when you open you eyes. You are deep in a puddle of drool and hear your red-faced history teacher is yelling at you to wake-up. Dazed, you look at him and then at the board which reads, “The Crusades and their effect”. You slam your head on the desk and let out moan. “I’ve gotta go” you retort to the teacher. He looks at you in astonishment but you grab your backpack and exit the classroom as he struggles to figure out how to respond. You begin to jog to your beat up Subaru and quickly text your mom.
“I’ll be late for dinner”, the text reads. You climb in the car and throw your backpack in the bag, smiling when you see you all of your ski gear packed up, and then burn out of the school parking lot knowing that powder awaits you, but this time it’s for real.