By E.J. Daws EBS Staff Writer
As a skier, you dream of this.
This is the moment you recount again and again, to anyone who will listen at bars, over dinner, and around campfires. People may be sick of hearing about it, but you find it creeping into conversations over and over.
This is the best ski run of your life.
I hit my high-water mark in mid-January, at Baldface Lodge outside of Nelson, British Columbia, high in the Selkirk Range.In some sort of skier’s divine intervention, the conditions lined up perfectly. Ten centimeters of snow fell two days before we arrived, then 15 centimeters the following day – all on top of a 6-foot base with great stability. This part of Canada is often socked in during the winter, but for some reason, the sun decided to show its face on this day.
My adrenaline was jacked as we stood at the top of Baldface Peak.The high summits of multiple provincial parks poked their heads above the ever-shifting clouds snaking through the valleys below.
Then we see our line.
Beneath the tips of my skis, more than 2,000 feet of virgin snow lay from the top to the valley floor. I feel as if I’d dreamt of this before, but now the wind is cold, the sun is bright, and I am actually here.We drop in, rapidly gaining speed. The west face of Baldface Peak shows itself,as a completely untouched canvas below. At the same time that I want to make small, jumpy powder turns, the urge to open up the throttle and make sweeping giant slalom turns overtakes me.
We are ripping now.
On every turn, champagne powder snow blasts my face and blows over my shoulders. I laugh, yell, and have an ice cream headache. My beard is caked in snow from trips in and out of “the white room.”
Sun, snow, sun, snow, sun, snow – it’s the dreamy repetition of a skier’s cadence.
I’m not sure if time actually slows down, but it seems to last forever. The next thing I know, I’m at the bottom of the peak, looking up at over 2,300 feet of the mountain I just danced with. I can pick out my tracks, right from the top to where I now stand.
I’m sweating, out of breath, laughing, joyously cursing, high fiving and in complete amazement.
When replaying the day at the lodge that evening, a longtime Baldface skier quipped, “You may have different runs than that, but you will never have better runs than that.”
With incredible snow stacking up throughout the Northern Rockies, I hope you get to ski the best run of your life this winter.