Closing day, Snowbird
This was the first spring season that in my time that Snowbird was open without the Tram and Gad running. The familiar chime rings as the mechanical arms would swing open and I push past to make my way to the chair. I notice bits of earth reclaiming space as snow recedes and the mountain defrosts. My mind struggles to comprehend how just a week before the snow was the deepest it had been all season long.
Strapping in at the top of Peruvian, I am no longer alone. A handful of us are paused; conversing, snapping selfies or taking in the astounding views of Little Cottonwood Canyon. What unites us today? Is it delusion? Denial? Desperation? It’s a complicated cocktail of all three ingredients, shaken and served over spring slush. Many who were here in days past have transitioned into their warmer hobbies and the resorts are ready to accommodate.
The greens are being tended to for those who swing clubs and swear softly. Solitude will offer baskets to golfers who sling disks. Maybe the thin air at that altitude favors the players. Park City will not only join in with golfing but turn their entire village into a family thrill area equipped with an alpine slide, bungee jumping, etc. Cherry Peak has already released its concert lineup for the summer season along with any others. Most importantly, for those whose sole purpose in going up is to come down fast, the mountain biking trails across the resorts will soon be tread-ready. Resorts have adapted to become viable year-round by chaining with the seasons, instead of holding out hope for a July powder day.
Before dropping onto chips, I look upward at a blue sky and wished it would snow. I’m not someone who resists change, but I am someone who savors. When eating a meal, after tasting all elements of the dish, I set aside what I deem to be the best part and end the meal with that “last bite.” The turns I made were my last bite of winter.
Snow turns to slush and joy turns to elation as I make turns and slashes until I found myself being taken back to the top of Peruvian. I look at my surroundings with my glass half full instead of a mountain half melted. Where I first saw rock patches to avoid, I was reminded of the wildflowers that will be blooming soon. In lieu of avalanche bombs, the canyon walls will echo the sounds of concerts and wedding receptions.
Mountain life is full of lessons and on this day at Snowbird, I learned the beauty of letting go. Like a child on the monkey bars, we can only move forward by letting go. In allowing winter to melt away we can make room for the joys that await us in the oncoming seasons. After the summer heat swells and dwindles and the leaves turn from lush green to crisp orange and red, we will once again welcome back The Greatest Snow on Earth®. All of the exultation we’ll feel then will have only been made possible by the letting go we do now.
For now, I tighten my bindings one more time and grin wide at the idea of winter coming home to Utah.
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