November 23, 2022 Powder Day
It started early the day before. Big fluffy flakes drifted to the earth and coated their mountain paradise. The thing everyone was hoping for began.
Beautiful, peaceful, snow.
It was day five of the young ski season and the first of two wonderful powder days. Barrman and Kaydee skied up the Ridge Rocket Quad Chair, and there was no one there. The clock read 8:32, he knew he’d missed Cookster and Kaydee’s friend Cammy by only a couple of minutes.
The skiers giggled as they sat on the chair. Powder turns awaited with more in the forecast. The sky and the mountain felt connected by the flurry of light fluffy flakes of dry snow as they filled the world around them.
They reached the top of the mountain in moments and beamed with delight as they slid off the chair and into the freshly falling snow.
Non-skiers would call it a blizzard. Skiers call it powder heaven. Barrman brushed the snow off his well-worn red jacket and laughed as he felt the snow flow beneath his boards.
After a lap of wondrous turns, they joined up with Cookster and Cammy.
And the snow kept falling.
By the end of the day, fifteen centimetres of Okanagan Champagne Powder covered the runs and hid the rocks. The flakes continued to fall while all signs of previous skiers disappeared.
And the snow kept falling.
The next morning they awoke to a clear sky and a fresh coating of snow. In the distance, a red and gold sky caressed the peaks of the Monashee Mountains.
It was a race, one Kaydee and Barrman knew they wouldn’t win. Getting to the chair first was a dream, No friends on powder days is the saying and Barrman watched in envy as he saw Cookster standing at the front of the line. One of these days he would be on the first chair… one of these days.
But not this day.
It was one of those glorious days every skier and snowboarder lives for. Sunshine and twenty-one centimetres of fresh snow in the previous twenty-four hours. Barrman sent word to his friends the day before. Twenty-centimetre rule.
Even though there are no friends on powder days. Sort of.
Barrman found fresh turns on the side of speculation and drifted boot deep in newly fallen snow. He grinned and thought to himself, What is the point if a person can’t find joy in life? Looking for the meaning of life? This was it. This was the meaning of life.
Lap after lap the group of snowbound friends ate up the few runs open, and some not quite open runs. Barrman, Cookster, Cammy, and Kaydee were joined by Big Boarder and Ricardo the suave skier.
The gang was easily separated, there were no friends, right? Barrman, Big Boarder, and Ricardo lept off the top of the chair and saw Cookster standing chatting with two members of Ski Patrol.
Barrman looked at his friends, “hey there is Cookster, should we wait?”
“He’s fast, he will catch us at the bottom,” Big Boarder strapped on his board and pushed off.
“Shall we find some fresh turns in the sun?” Barrman turned his skis downward, a pang of regret for not waiting for his friend. He knew he’d hear about it… No friends right?
The season was long and the friends would get lots of turns together. Big Boarder and Ricardo weren’t waiting for anyone. They were there for a good time, not a long time.
More fresh lines welcomed the trio as they rode a few more turns down the mountain. Too soon, Ricardo left for the Bull Wheel to watch Team Canada play in the World Cup of Football. Then Big Boarder headed back to town and to work.
Barrman had one last epic run in the sun with Cookster and he headed in to face the real world. Satisfied and satiated It was early season day to remember.
It was the first powder day of many more to come. November 23, and everything is right in the world especially during those fleeting moments sliding on snow.
Tomorrow the Bullet Opens, and Barrman and Kaydee get to do it all over again.