March 2010 was my last time on the snow. I am a snow addict, but also a travel addict, and travel abroad trumped snow last year. This year, however, is my BIG SNOW YEAR in which I plan to indulge all my ski wishes and fantasies – in the U.S. and Canada, for our snow, I am told by those in the know, is generally just about the best in the world (e.g. Alta). With so many great places to ski to which I’ve never been, e.g. Jackson Hole, Targhee, Revelstoke, Lake Louise, to name just a few, I now simply await snow.
I live in a region where it snows and there are ski resorts (e.g. Schweitzer) and ski mountains (e.g. Mt. Spokane) galore. But I’ve already been to them and I want to go to new ones. This year, I go through the familiar tension of waiting for snow. More importantly, waiting for snow that does not melt away – which has become a chronic problem in the past few years.
While I was in NYC luxuriating in 60 degree (F) weather, it snowed in Spokane and friends reported great Cross Country (XC) and downhill skiing. By the time I got home, temperature had climbed well above freezing in the mountains as well as in town, and it rained, and the snow disappeared. Boo hoo.
Last night, as I was eating my Thanksgiving dinner surrounded by loved ones: IT SNOWED! My first in vitro snow in 2 years! It accumulated on my car! I finally got to put my new snow tires and my new snow car (Subaru, of course) to the test (passed with gripping colors).
But, would that beautiful snow turn to water by morning? Thank you, Google, for being there to answer my question. I was able to get a weather forecast for Mt Spokane (where I typically XC in Spokane). It would stay under freezing all night and all tomorrow!!! Eureka!!!
As I set my alarm, remembered I had a (very much needed) hair appointment at 1 p.m. in Spokane. Let’s see, if I want to ski for 2 hours and it takes one hour up and one hour back, need to leave by 9 a.m. I naively set alarm for 7, forgetting how much there is to organize the first time you do a sport in a new season. For me, being a nomad, do not even know where my ski clothes are – somewhere in the basement packed away.
Fortunately, awoke an hour early, so I did depart at 9 a.m. But man, extracting my poles, going through 4 bins looking for my XC ski clothes and finally finding them in a discarded suitcase, was a challenge. Fun, though, as I recalled this drill from years past.
I considered changing my hair appt, for I know that I want to have unlimited time on the snow, to not be rushed, to take photos, to schmooze with friends I meet, and to ski on many of my old favorite trails. Hair vs. snow time. Hair vs. snow time. Hmmmm. Hair won – it had to, cause things in that department were pretty bad, and it was only the beginning of the ski season.
Driving up Mt. Spokane, the road was very slick, icy, snowy. I saw someone putting on chains. Again, my snow car and snow tires were flawless. I watched the temperature gauge in my car, and was happy to see that it did not go above freezing. “Oh, please do hold on to that new 1 inch of snow. Oh, please let it have some fluff to it.” And it DID.
The photos say it all.