The first Mountain Commandment: Thou shalt not squander a powder day.
If you ski or snowboard patience is not a virtue you learn, it is something that Mother Nature rubs your nose in for three seasons of every year.
Without fail the ritual of waiting for snow will turn even the most hardened seasonnaires into frothing teenagers who will wax lyrical about how ‘bees with unusually hairy legs’ mean we’re in for a cold winter.
So by the time the mountain is ready to deliver a legit powder day you’ll see mothers abandoning kids at school gates for first lifts and grown men queuing for chairs like 6 year olds queuing to see Santa.
When you do finally get up the hill and make some turns you realise quickly that the finesse you spent so long polishing last season has dulled. But in contrast the stoke that will inevitably fade with familiarity as winter wears on is at an all-time high.
Plowing freshies with friends in sheer ecstasy. Bottle this moment. Yes it’s a guilty pleasure with no purpose except self-gratification. But soothe your conscience safe in the knowledge that as far as self-gratification goes this is as wholesome as it gets (think meth rampage with a samurai sword as an alternative).
The important thing to remember here though is patience, Mother Nature has made you wait for these days and there may only be 3 or 4 of these this winter. Shit you may have less than 25 left in your life!
Don’t let this winter pass you by, make arrangements for work, childcare… your needy boyfriend whatever it is you think you have to do. And get your gear in order, wax your steed, tape up your gloves and go and treat yourself to a proper merino base layer that will keep you warm, even when it’s wet. And it won’t smell.
Then go and grab every day that has even the slightest whiff of a powder day about it with both hands and with the help of your mates, throttle every turn and drop you can out of it before the light dies.
We’ll see you out there.
Rest of Europe