You never know when it's going to happen, but when the ski day of the year presents itself, you better be ready.
Saturday, a snowstorm clobbered Beaver Creek with 22 inches of snow in 24 hours. With snow continuing to fall, my wife and I hopped in our car (fortunately we were staying in Frisco) and zoomed over. We hadn't had a decent powder day all year.
Thousands of other people had the same idea we did. The free parking lots at BC were bulging with cars, and everyone was scrambling to get up to the mountain to revel in this rare dump. We all soon came up against the same problem though. The free shuttles that take people 1.5 miles up to the base area were no where to be seen. Maybe a few too many bus drivers called in a powder day? Who knows? But a line of people 100 yards long piled out of the bus depot. And it grew, and grew, and grew.
Finally, people started walking up the road. We joined them. Hundreds of people, with skis slung over their shoulders, shuffling in stiff boots, and a snake of traffic slowly slithered by on the snow packed road.
It looked like some kind of natural disaster footage, with scores of refugees on foot.
We tried hitching a ride, but apparently the rich of BC don't like mixing with the snowy masses. Or maybe they just were so eager to get on the snow they didn't want to stop.
After about 20 minutes of walking we were picked up by a Texas tourist in a rental Impala who dropped us at the resort.
The skiing wasn't just phenomenal. It was transcendental. It was an accidental Zen celebration of the world's fleeting beauty. Living in the moment. Sweet concrete verb. I felt like a freakin' Jedi flying down through steep bumps pillowed with bottomless powder. The force was strong with this one.
It was one of those days when you have to ski the steeps just to keep your speed up.
Oh, and it was warm -- 22 degrees. Quite a bit warmer than the icebox of the Front Range.
It was so good we decided not to go skiing the next day. It could only pale in comparison.
I hope it's not the best day of the season, but it may be.
(Photo from wolfcreekski.com)