It may not be the season’s so far skimpy snow fall, but I’m reasonable sure there is a good reason why there weren’t any other tracks in the snow where I ended up the other day.
And it might have something to do with the Lone Star state’s lack of a reputation for skiing – good or otherwise.
But that big bit of desolation bordering Mexico aside, Texas is always a pretty sure bet for good turns. Especially during a year that more than halfway through can still be described as boney. What snow there is takes a little longer to reach.
By now, everyone has probably figured that I’m trying to describe something much closer to home. But don’t worry if you didn’t know this particular knoll’s name. I didn’t either.
Texas isn’t one of the more prominent peaks of the BridgerMountains, but anyone who has ventured out to Bradley’s Meadow has probably eyed its chutes, glades and leas. The mainTexas meadow is virtually a mirror image of Bradley’s, further north.
While the similarity certainly helps, that’s not really what makes it so good. That has more to do with the sense of adventure and the unexpected – most of which I won’t ruin by going into detail.
So here are the highlights.Texas is just far enough away to feel like real wilderness. The scenery is amazing, or as people often prefer, awe-inspiring – from Ross Peak to an unobstructed view of the entire expanse of the Crazies. The slopes are on the steeper side of not very avalanche prone.
And, did I mention that no one seems to go there often?
Anyway, so the other day we made the skinned sojourn following the end of the last storm. I don’t know what we risked but it must have been great, judging by the reward we found – deep, bouncy, carving powder.
After signing our first slope, floating and weaving through the occasional brown stalk of sturdy grass, I found myself giddy and laughing as though I was out for the first time.
It was one of those reminders of why we do what we do, what makes riding sticks and boards so addicting. There is always something new to master and something different to experience.
I’ve skied around here for nigh on 20 years – I’d never been to Texas, and really I’d be hard pressed to say I’ve ever ripped the same line twice.
Or, as my friend Erin said, “Every powder day is different.”
And they’re all good.