A fresh smell of stoke wafts into my nostrils. I breathe in, searching for oxygen at 12,000’. The chairlift is slow- an old double chair. A view of skiers carving shadows into untouched snow. I’m eager and enraged with jealousy. I fill my lungs with hash smoke and exhale with the wind. Getting high with Üllr. DJ Shadow in my ear muffs. Breakbeat drums idiosyncratic to powder turns beneath me. Skier sitting on chairlift next to me tells me where to get my fix. “The trees,” he tells me, “in the trees,”. I’ve never been here before. I could be dreaming. Everything is pink.
Atop the Pavilinci Cornice my heart rate matching the tempo of DJ Shadow’s Giving Up The Ghost, smile smears across my face. I am so fucking high- I’m not even stoned. Muscles cold, pole-straps on my wrists, eyes beaming down the fall line- I drop in.
Straight line down icy face- fast, efficient. Mouth wide open accepting a natural flow of hydration. Giggling to myself- to everyone. Eyes closed- now I can see. Mountainous rhythm dances beneath my skis. I leap into the air. My mountain catches me.
Dancing in the powder knees bopping waves of snow over head. Cheering from skiers in chairlifts overhead. It’s not a dance off. Everyone wins.
Two trees beckon me into their forest. They live atop a steep ridge with great extended families. I enter their home.
I feel the powder surge through my veins. So deep, so deep. With every turn I glide, I soar. Gravity is nothing but the wall of snow I kick up falling back down upon face. I myself am disconnected. This is a dream. The world is no longer pink.
Tears fogging up my goggles- can’t see anyway. I’m snowblind- I’m in the whiteroom. Smile frozen now, good, that will make things easier.
Could I live between these rows of trees? What would it take? Where do I sign my soul to the mountain? To this snow…To this moment…
The first time I got high was transcendent- after that it just felt good.
Snow doesn’t just feel good.
I am not on earth, I am not on this mountain, I am not myself. I am skiing.