(iPhone shot, texture thanks to theChiz)
A word you might have heard on my lips a few times if you snowboarded with me on Sunday, was “ice”: I cursed it when I fell on it; I lamented its ubiquitous presence on East Coast mountains; I warned others of it; I winced as afternoon winds whipped pieces of it into our faces; I cried as I flew into a windmill-like fall when there was a patch of it on the lift ramp… But, that morning, I delighted in the sight of it, coating the trees at the top of Killingon peak. It was flurrying, but the sun was just creeping out, and the trees were covered with both layers of ice and a coating of white, glistening snow. This was my first trip to the top of the mountain, I hadn’t made it up the main gondola the day before- still working out the haven’t-boarded-in-5-years kinks. Now I was at the top, before the arrival of the crowds, and before the afternoon winds and multitudes of skiiers and boarders would expose ice patches on the slopes themselves.
Those first few runs were glorious. We took a gradual approach through the ice covered trees to connect to my first (and by far my best) black run of the trip. I took it controlled and slow, but connected my turns all the way down and earned back my confidence (two days earlier I wasn’t sure I wouldn’t be bunny-hilling the whole trip.) After our next trip up the Gondola I took these pictures, just before the icy temperatures shut my iPhone down for the day.
As many times as I cursed the ice that afternoon, I didn’t forget its friendly greeting that morning. East coast boarding may be more challenging, and it certainly hurts, but it is well, well worth it. Even with the ice.