Storm skiing here at Alta is something very special. The solitude and oneness one feels with the mountain is incredible. The skier’s powder caked grins in the lift lanes are huge. The snow just keeps piling up run after run after run. Free refills!.. they say. There’s nothing to hold you back, it’s just you, the mountain, and the liftie with a mustache. By the way. Did you know that an Alta liftie’s mustache not only looks cool but will also help float the liftie’s head above the snow in an avalanche? Yep.
So yeah, that first step outside into the storm can be really tough. There is obviously some well rooted ancestral gene involved in the decision process here. Something probably like… cave warm, snow cold, stay in cave! And let’s admit it, lounging next to the fire in the cozy lodge… or cave, sippin’ hot cocoa and watching the snow pile up outside is very appealing and satisfying as well. In fact, it’s just too appealing for most. But if you can manage to escape the gravity-like pull of the ancestral gene, then you’re in for a treat.
The ride up the lift during an all-out Alta snow storm is quite religious. The snow seems to pile up on you providing a warm insulating layer letting you forget about the cold. The elation of the insane powder run you just had keeps going through your mind. You make mental notes, your next run is going to be even better. Eventually your mind drifts, the hypnotizing effect of the falling snow takes over. Millions of fluffy snowflakes all seemingly evenly spaced apart and tumbling from the sky over and over and over. Everything feels familiar, comforting, and silent. Thoughts are clear, meaningful, and happy.
The mind is now free to exist in sync with the mountain. Each turn is effortless, bottomless and brand new. Snow hitting your face. You’re no longer just skiing, you’re living. The mountain has now embraced you, taken you in, you are part of the mountain this day. Mind and body shredding Alta.