OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASometimes if feels as if powder days are like the string of Telluride boyfriends you had in your twenties. Which means for some of you, the boyfriends you have right now. And just like with those irresistible boys, with powder days, you must learn to differentiate between those with promise and those that deliver.

Take for example the predictable, epic storm. Your friends are abuzz days before its planned arrival. They tell wild stories about the last time it visited and how rad it’ll be this time when it comes. Feeding off their energy, you begin to build it up in your mind. When the first flakes fall, you know this storm is one you should not miss. And it comes. And it’s great.

But, all of your friends love it as much as you do and you end up waiting in line to get the good stuff. You hoot and holler and feel the adrenaline as soon as you touch it, but its best parts are inaccessible. You wait until things settle down, and the steeper, harder-to-get-to runs open. Once there, you  love how it skis, but you also know that it’s wild, and  you’ll never get it all to yourself.

Even though you didn’t get exactly what you wanted with the epic storm, you had a fun few days. At least it actually delivered. It was definitely better than the overrated storm that came next, the one with so much promise, but very little execution. Again, your friends talked about it for days before it was due. But this time, you detected doubt in their voices. They kept telling stories about its best moments, reminiscing about how much it dumped in Silverton and Durango.

You were skeptical, but decided to give it a fair chance. You checked it out on the Internet and it looked pretty good. When it arrived, you were intrigued—it was cold, windy and dense — at least for the first few hours. Then it petered out. The next morning, the ski area reported six inches. But, you knew better; you knew the storm would never reach its potential and you knew it was definitely not six inches.

Sure, you were a little disappointed, but you’d been in Telluride awhile. You gave it credit for at least showing up. But, you’re also bright and learn from past mistakes. You promise yourself not to get your hopes too high next time. But, you keep thinking about storms and begin surfing the web, scanning different weather sites.

It snows, and you go up on the mountain. You have fun, but aren’t totally invested. Some days the lines are long; some days the runs are tracked; some days the snow is a little crusty under a few new inches. You play it cool, and keep your eyes out for the storm that won’t cause the frantic hype the epic storm brought, but that will also deliver more than six inches.

photoThen one night it snows blissful, big snowflakes. You listen, but no one’s talking about it. The storm comes from nowhere, without much notice. It’s pretty, soothing, natural. You walk home slowly under the flakes, expecting nothing. The next morning, there is a warm blanket of snow in the street.  Leisurely, you head up on the Mountain around noon. There are no lines. You take a few runs and are surprised at how much has fallen. For the first time in your memory, the ski area under reported the accumulation.

Each run is better than the last. You decide to hike. Then you decide to traverse. You notice there are no tracks going into a far chute. You keep traversing, enter some trees and come out the other side. Before you, lies a pristine, untracked chute. You don’t hesitate; you point it. Halfway down, you stop and look around. Your friends are still at the top. You steal an intimate moment and laugh.

Finally, you found a powder day that not only quietly delivered, but won’t kiss and tell. You become a little giddy and wonder what the next run will bring.


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