When I finally got in last night, there was this baby bird asleep on Johnathan's doorstep. My mom is a big birder and bird rescuer/tracker, and from what she's told me, I figured that this one had fledged, in the middle of the snowstorm, and gotten wet or tired and couldn't get back to the nest.
We caught him in a towel and put him in a box for the night, the poor little dude was totally pooped! In the morning, I opened the box and he flew right up into this tree!
We got all possed up and met up with Mark Eakin, a Jackson Hole backcountry skier, and one of Doug Coomb's old Corbit's Coular skiing buddies. Jonathan, Mark and I headed up into the snowstorm to the top of the Teeton Pass, and then hiked up to the top of Glory Mountain, getting more and more excited with every step we took, as the snow was accumulating deep, and it was light and fluffy for this time of year! It felt like it might ski like winter snow. After the deep, difficult, thick goo we've been skiing, I was getting pretty excited to make some turns!
I'm still pretty slow on the boot pack, and Mark was great, singing U2, (he saw them in concert 37 times on their last tour! WOW) and talking Opera, from Pavorati to Caruso, and after about an hour, we reached the top.
We ran into Jeff Burke at the top, who was wearing one of the New Black Diamond boots, and one of the new Dynafit boots, because hes working on a boot review! I guess he didn't have enough time for two laps? Wow, that's dedication. It was great to meet him and fun to hear he and Johnathan catching up.
After a teeny tiny tour in the fog, and a teeny tiny bit of bushwhacking, we found 2nd Turn, and just as we were ready to go, the sun came out. Jonathan skied down and set up to make some pictures, and Mark and I skied down, making beautiful, fun, BOUNCY powder turns in about a foot and a half of fresh. Ahhhh...
I felt really free in my turns, and was very flattered to hear both Jonathan and Mark comment on my good footwork (!!! can I have that in writing !!!) wow, what a change to feel confident in this snow, no wasted turns, no wonky weirdness after getting done hiking, although I am pretty sure that part of that had to do with the new technique I learned in the Beartooths of sort of bouncing, and making mini turns, and flexing onto your edges on whatever traverse there is once you are locked down. That, and our accidental mini tour, plus the easy snow after a month of skiing in molasses, all combined for an amazing run!!
I was really thrilled to be out skiing, to be "Soul Skiing" as Kurt likes to say, and it felt amazing to be able to let go and just ski. The deep, manky goo has been such a good teacher for me, that strong, slow steering and soft retraction set me up to suddenly ski this easy, ego powder just like Squatty showed me in Aspen on the Powder Posse day. I had been worried that ALL the amazing instruction Squatty had given me would just fly out of my mind, because I only had one day to work on it with him, and no time to cement it. But it was right there, reach and steer, reach and steer, and the bounce just happened as my skis dove and then rebounded and ejected me back to the top.
After hanging out in the snow, celebrating our awesome morning, we hiked back up the road to the car. Johnathan ran into an old buddy, Tommy Moe, and they decided to race to the top for another lap. Knowing I could NEVER keep up on this crazy bootpack, I opted to come home and make lunch. But now I have even MORE incentive to get faster on the boot pack!!
Im sitting in Selko world headquarters, here, listening to these guys talk about shooting in Chile, on Denali, all over the world, and I realize that I have just barely peeked in the door of skiing. Let the Education of Kate Begin!!