White happens to be my favorite colour.
March 2006 At 3103m above sea level, the world-class ski village of Zermatt Switzerland disapears, it seems the mountainous region has aborbed all signs of life leaving one with a feeling of isolation and pure adventure. I have been told that these mountains are home to the longest runs in the world, the more advanced Black Diamonds an astonishing 8 miles of pure snow bliss. A cloud of hot air escapes from my lips giving away my growing anxiety about learning to snowboard for the first time. Hours will pass making my way down the pistes, a near run in with death from a wipe out that brought me within inches of a construction site filled with jagged concrete shapes, a run in with a 60 year old alpine snowboarder that caused my elbow to crack in two places, and still with miles of run before me, I am left with no option other than to get up and painfully make my way down the mountain.
I leave my experience physically wounded yet eager to heal for next season when I can do it again. It was the spark that has fueled a burning desire to ride again.
February 2007 With international travels at the forefront of my mind and the chaos of the “cardboard corral” in Texas behind me, I ease myself into the rhythm of New England family life. Fortune would have it that this includes Season Passes at Wachusett Mountain. At a mere 611m, these local slopes seem more appropriate for a novice of winter sport. I brace myself on the lifts for the soreness that will become of my behind. A small prayer and quietening of the mind during the slow ascent helps to calm the bouquet of butterflies that has overtaken my belly.
My last ride for the night will bring a flood of confidence as I finish with dignified grace. While snowboarding, I begin to find the zen I have searched for over the years. Day two on the slopes, with fire in my belly, I attempt my first jumps. There is nothing like the feeling of flying through the air. The sound of my board hitting the snow below brings the realisation I have landed successfully! Girlish shrieks of delight fill the air as I spray powder in every direction slowing down to where my sister is waiting. High fives are exchanged as we head to the lodge to thaw and refuel. My only picture of the happenings . . . taken after a wipe out.