The guy's energy was infectious. His 1986 Dodge Camper Van* was the ultimate ski bum home and we piled in on the way back to the bus after skiing Beartooth Basin. He mentioned being on a fast - water only - and I think he said he was on day eight. It seemed possible. He possessed super human strength and abilities, he had laser vision and fired up everyone skiing the headwall that day. He operated on a high frequency: this was a skier in the purest form - focused on the skiing at hand, stoked to meet everyone who shared his passion, and raising the stoke of everyone he met.
My knowledge about terrain choices was slowly coming into focus. But, I started to recognize other gaps in my knowledge. Even though I wore a beacon every day I wasn’t very proficient at using it. I understood what made a good start zone for an avalanche, but not why some days or times of day that avalanche would be more likely to occur. The terrain in the Tetons was inspiring and this was another moment where I realized I had to continue my avalanche education to keep skiing the things I wanted to ski.
There’s a moment in every skier’s life that reveals their true nature: the alarm clock on a midweek powder day. Forget about backcountry gates, the conundrum between going to work and eschewing responsibility in search of the ephemeral is truly your decision point as a skier.