February 17, 2021 Powder day at Apex
The two friends jumped into the truck and headed on the road for a new adventure. Barrman looked over at his buddy Big Boarder and smiled. It was just after 8:00 am, the road was clear and the sun peaked through the clouds overhead.
“It looks like an awesome day at Apex. The snow report says fourteen cms in 24 hours and thirty-two in 48. Powder awaits us!” Barrman practically bounced out of the passenger seat as the Big Boarder turned south onto highway 97.
“Dude it’s gonna be epic!” Big Boarder’s smile beamed back at his friend and neighbour.
Barrman grabbed the boarders iPhone music selection. He searched for an old favourite to enhance the mood. The cab of the truck was filled with excitement.
“Spent the last year Rocky Mountain Way, couldn’t get much higher.” Barrman cranked the knob of the stereo and the friends sang along to Triumph rocking out a version of the classic song.
The drive to Apex passed quickly and excitement rose as the Big Boarder parked his Dodge truck close to the front of the lot. Barrman almost leaped from the cab as they passed the ticket window. They made good time but it was after 9:15 and the lifts were already spinning toward the sky.
The buddies danced as they stood in line waiting for their turn at the ticket window. It was clearing up and they stood looking at the fresh snow that coated the world. It was a new hill and new adventure, steep and deep turns awaited the two adventurers.
Quickdraw is the name of the main high-speed quad chair that lifts snow riders to the top of the mountain. Big Boarder and Barrman slid into line and waited for their place on the chair. It was a different feeling than they were used to. Big White is their home hill and the vibe was different there. Apex felt rustic, with no automatic gates or high-tech scanners. Just old school lift passes and no one checking tickets.
Quickdraw whisked the riders to the top, fresh snow was everywhere they looked. Barrman could barely contain his excitement as he skied off the top to the left. He saw a sign that said “Wildside, experts only” with a black diamond sitting beside it. He started off to see the fresh snow filling his vision.
“It’s a whole new world! Look at all the snow, man.” Barrman shouted over his shoulder, he had to stop and wait for his snowboarding buddy. “Man I keep forgetting you boarders are slow at the top.”
Barrman scanned the snow-filled runs below. He looked over and saw the Big Boarder was ready. “This is gonna be sweet, which way?” The two buddies were like kids in a candy store as they took in the terrain in front of them.
“I see a fresh line!” Barrman turned the tips of his powder skis and headed across the flat spot toward a steep chute of untracked snow.
It felt like he was weightless as he descended through the knee-deep powder and steep turns. Gravity took over and it was like floating on pillows of featherlight puffs of untouched pow.
“Woohoo! Yip, yip, yippie!” Howls of joy filled the trees. The day began better than the two snow riding buddies could dream of.
“It’s why we’re here!” Big Boarder called out in excitement as the buddies found fresh turns all the way to the bottom of the Stock’s chair a slow-moving triple lift that returned the friends from the bottom.
Apex resort is a small mountain that skied big as the day went on. Some of the runs were steeper than the friends have skied on in years.
“My butt cheeks were puckered up on the last run,” Barrman laughed as they got back to the Quickdraw chair. “It was so fuckin’ steep my heart was in my throat.”
“Dude, I know! That was intense, so steep and so deep!” Big Boarder laughed in reply.
The buddies giggled and howled as the day went on. Even at the end of the day, the two riders found fresh tracks in the trees and beside the runs. The last few turns to the truck were in deep powder, Big Boarder led the way and ended up stuck just before the bottom. Barrman laughed again, his cheeks sore from all the smiles. The skier cruised by the stuck snowboarder and rode across the parking lot to the truck.
“That was incredible, one of the best days of the year, good call buddy.” Big Boarder fired up the truck and the two adventurers sat in the cab, satiated.
Before the days of the coronaverse, they would have sat in the lodge for an apres’ ski. On this day the two cranked the music and the heat and bounded back down the highway for home. Big Boarder and Barrman reveled in the joy of a day at a new ski hill and looked forward to their next adventure.