January 12, 2009

All that white stuff

On our way up

The driving was terrible yesterday — the kind of winter driving I absolutely hate. Cold winds had dumped a foot or so of fresh snow onto the roads and fields over night, and despite the efforts of the big heavy-duty snowplows we have in this region, loose snow was still drifting across the roads as we drove along. But we left early anyhow, because I knew the tension of driving on snowy roads would be worth it.

What makes for bad winter driving makes for wonderful snowboarding conditions.

The lift lines weren't crowded at all; the bad driving had kept some folks away. And all the trails were open, even the ones that curve through the woods, far from any snow-making machines. I snowboard faster and more confidently when we've got all that fresh powder: I know that even if I fall, it won't hurt. But I didn't fall very often because new snow is easy for making turns, for carving back and forth. There were no patches of ice to send me crashing to the ground.

Perhaps what I love most about snowboarding is that it leaves me no time to think. Well, there are thoughts in my head, but they are immediate in nature: "Oh, no! I better head back the other way. Wow, this feels fast! Where did that skier come from? Oops!" Just staying upright takes all my concentration. I have no time to worry or obsess or think about anything stressful. Snowboarding is far more effective than meditation in just emptying my brain until it resembles a long expanse of snow.

11 comments:

Lucy said...

Is snowboarding a very different experience from skiing? Do you like it better?

I'm wondering if it's worth trying out snowboarding or if I should just enjoy my hard-won semi-mastery of skiing.

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

I like the ungroomed runs (if they're not too trampled) in new snow for that same reason: soft falls! Hard to get back up, though, sometimes.

Is that a T bar down there?


ps welcome home

Rev.Dulce said...

I am still searching for a way to empty my mind which does not include being out in the cold.

Magpie said...

"Perhaps what I love most about snowboarding is that it leaves me no time to think. Well, there are thoughts in my head, but they are immediate in nature"

I loved that about ballet - it really clears the head.

(And I love that my word verification is WINGE.)

readersguide said...

That's exactly what I love about skiing. A whole day of doing nothing but being outside, going up and coming down, and thinking only about how to get past that one steep spot, and was it easier this time than last, and working on my turns. It is meditative.

Dreamy Diva said...

that looks scary!!!

liz said...

"Well, there are thoughts in my head, but they are immediate in nature: "Oh, no! I better head back the other way. Wow, this feels fast! Where did that skier come from? Oops!"" made me instantly think of this

jo(e) said...

Lucy: It's a very different movement -- more like skateboarding. Snowboarding has a steeper learning curve at the very beginning -- the first day or two can be very difficult -- but then after you figure out how to turn, it's easier to learn than skiing. I think it's worth trying.

Jennnifer: Yes, it's a T-bar. They don't allow snowboarders on the T-bar though. (Not that I'd try, but my son has.)

liz: (Laughing) The ending especially captures my experience snowboarding. The ground is not my friend.

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

I wondered how a snowboarder would negotiate a t-bar! My local mountain doesn't have one.

When I was learning to snowboard (I was 28), my sister-in-law just about died from hysterical laughter. She said that I'd fall so hard, I bounced. It was quite painful and I almost gave up, but now I'm glad I didn't.

AmpersandToo said...

your sense of composition continues to amaze me ... I look at each photo and just wonder at your ability.

jo(e) said...

Thanks for the compliment, AmpersandToo! I had to take this photo very quickly -- it's really way too cold on the chairlift to take my mittens off!