Nothing is quite so intimidating as a blank piece of paper, an empty canvas, a computer screen showing nothing but a blinking cursor. Where do you enter? What’s the first sentence? Where does the line begin? These are questions for writers, artists, painters. But not skiers. Unless the pitch is sketchy, exposed, tight, or technical, who hesitates before dropping in?
Not me. I see my line, I take it.
With the ephemeral nature of inbounds powder (is there such a thing any more?) and, increasingly, the goods just outside the rope, who has time to contemplate left, right, or straight? Instincts take over and you just go.
But maybe that’s not the appropriate way to approach these slopes. Maybe these pitches deserve consideration before laying down the first track. Maybe they even demand it. Perhaps this miracle of weather and season and angle is owed a brief pause of contemplation, genuflection, or planning. How to be most true to it? What path can you take that best honors what you’ve been given? Or if that’s too touchy feely for you, what’s the most steezy line to blow away your bros?
Okay, so maybe we don’t have to be as reverent as a subsistence hunter giving thanks to the spirit of the animal whose flesh sustains him. But taking a moment to consider aesthetics, style, and the most satisfying sequence of turns would make the mountain canvasses fare prettier and you more mindful, neither of which is a bad thing.
Photo by Garrett Grove