Monday, December 17, 2007

Dads with Day Jobs

The pictures weren’t coming out so well I thought to myself as I scrolled through the camera’s review screen. Well of course they weren’t coming out very well – it was dark out. It was the second darkest day of the year, and we were just getting ready to ascend Mount Mansfield.

For Jim, Justin and I – dads with day jobs – skiing comes when we can get it; even if that means lithium ion headlamps lighting the way through the night. The hour and a half skin up was hypnotizing. Once we topped out, we mounted the big boy lamps on the top of our helmets, and we were ready to shove off. Popping through a tight hole in the pines, we were happy with the early season coverage. Stumps that were visible most of last season had already disappeared, and we were ready to celebrate this much snow pre-solstice.

(Big lamps light up the transition. Photo courtesy of Dave Bouchard)

Past the waterfall the forest opened up into a series of unspoiled glades. Bluish light pointed out the lines like lasers as our skis made incisions into the wind-buffed snow. True telemark turns were tough to come by. Getting both planks out in front was necessary as parallel turns let the skis rise to the surface only to dive once again into the next turn. Midway down the semi-stubborn snow turned to a consistent creamy texture and became more cooperative. Too bad at this point we had pretty much exhausted the vertical.

Living in a world of tunnel vision, high on Vermont’s tallest peak, with temps hovering around 0 is a great place to be on a winter’s night.

–Dave Bouchard

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