Slash! My tips glide over the edge of a huge pillow line. With a total drop of around 4 meters spread across 3 great, big granite boulders, I slowly accelerate towards my destination, calmly slashing out two more turns as I hit the edge of each pillow. Riding out, I look behind the sight of the snow slowly falling off, with my fresh tracks poised, almost as a sign of victory over the line. I won.
Next thing I know, however, I am accelerating onwards through the glade. I now fly swiftly through the fresh powder, making occasional turns in huge, slow slash style. The snow comes up to my thighs: all the recent storms culminated in a 30 centimeter dump last night, although I'm sure you remember that. As I get closer to the tree we built the jib at last night, I notice the complete lack of other tracks. Only me, the mountain and regularly spaced, snow-laden trees, glimmering white in the morning sun. I fly through the powder, getting a face-full of fresh snow every time I make a turn. Bliss. Out of the corner of my eye, I see what probably used to be a tree stump, creating a perfect, big step down. I stop, and check out the landing. I'll have to gap a little tree, and take it at least 10 meters deep to hit the sweet spot. Sketchy, but doable. It will involve a bit of stamping on the in run and the base of the lip, but the landing is good enough.
I traverse across to it, and start slipping the in run, or at least the last 10 meters of it. 5 minutes of stomping is more than enough, and I unclip my skis to take a little breather before heading back up to hit it. I sit down on a conveniently placed log right next to my stump-kicker. Probably the tree that fell to make my kicker. Looking around myself I realise just how much needed to happen to enable me to ski here today: Trees being destroyed in violent storms, water evaporating from the mediterranean and coming all the way here before finding a resting place beneath my skis, ready to be slashed as I make my way down my line.
The view is breathtaking-the spot I found is situated on a little knoll, so that through the trees I can vaguely see the outlines of magnificent mountains gleaming in the midday sun. Some snow occasionally drifts down from the high branches of trees with the breathing of the wind.
I grab my skis and start hiking. It is hard work trudging through the waist deep snow, but nevertheless rewarding. I am going Candide style, carrying my skis in front of me and placing them flat on the snow for stability every time I move. After about 20 meters of climbing, I attempt to flatten out a little space for clipping in, and start getting ready.
DROOOPP! I shout as I get ready to go for it. My pulse quickens, the world slows down, and all sounds around me cease: I hop around 90 degrees and start sliding towards my step down. I transition to the packed in run, then I hit the tranny, and then I feel my tips breaking the crust of fresh snow I didn't pack down, spraying the bit of powder everywhere around.
The feeling of weightlessness takes control of me, and I extend my chest up, curling my legs back. I can feel the world sliding around: first the snow disappears, then the trees are gone and all I can see is the azure sky. Then I can see the trees again, and the snow, and then my landing comes into view. I feel my back extending and my feet trailing behind me. As I get closer I whip my legs around, and stomp the biggest and cleanest backflip of my career. I slash to cut some speed, spraying a fine mist of snow into the air around me, which doesn't have time to settle before I disappear off into a thicket of trees nearby in search of more excitement.
As always, if you enjoyed reading this, tell me! If you have any ideas for other stories, post them up as well and I will write them when I have the time. See you next week!