A tale of winter shred-ventures
Words by: Solid
5:35 am. A distant alarm fills the once pitch black room with a horribly high pitched beeping sound and a faint red glow of almost unreadable numbers. A rustling of sheets and blankets leads to a mystery hand emerging from beneath and striking the alarm with an overhand fist. The shuffling of blankets, sleeping bags, cans/bottles, and the grunts and groans, that only a hung-over early morning can produce, now begin to fill the room. The air is thick with the heavy musk of yesterday’s wet boots and last night’s bad decisions; those clinking bottles and cans aren’t just soda pops and that feeling inside your skull will be the proof of that.
5:41 am. The acknowledgement of the morning has now begun to sink into every awakening body that is sprawled across this living room floor; this living breathing jigsaw puzzle of friends and shred gear. Somebody finally musters up the energy to get out of their sleeping arrangements and makes a move for the window shades. With one swift pull of the string, the shades pull apart from the center of the window and the morning light rips through the darkness to illuminate everything it touches.
Eyes squint, blankets get thrown over faces, and hands rise up in the air frantically trying to block the sunlight from their barely awoken eyes. Once the raw truth of the situation is accepted and understood, the eyes begin to focus and the true nature of the day is welcomed and remembered; today we shred.
Bodies rustle and the stoke begins to collectively spread subconsciously through each person as someone decides to head to the stereo and put on some music to help the morning routine unfold.
5:50 am. The heavy moan of a metal song begins and builds up over time through a perfect symphony of high fives, devil horns, fist bumps, smiles and collective realizations that we get to go out and do that thing we love to do. The once dormant bodies that were sprawled across the floor now spring into action as if to be parts of a well-oiled machine built to do nothing but allow a perfect day of snowboarding unfold as efficiently and comfortably as possible. Two bodies head to the kitchen; turning on the coffee maker and preparing some breakfast items, another two bodies head to the boot dryer and check on the gear, another collection of bodies emerge from another room and just lay on the couch (maybe not the most well-oiled machine at all times.)
6:30 am. Stomachs are full, lunches are packed, coffee pots are empty and the slow guy is still trying to figure out where is other glove is. Somebody is freaking out because they think they left their wallet at the bar last night, all the while somebody else has just walked outside to realize they left the truck window open all night and the 25 cm of snow forecast the previous evening found its way into the passenger’s seat and floor. These are minor casualties that are immediately brushed off after somebody else calls everyone into the living room for some unknown reason.
Now huddled around a computer monitor like NASA scientists discovering new planets, you shuffle through a sea of toque covered heads to catch a glimpse at the screen to see a live picture of the new oceans of snowfall perfectly blanketed across the top of the resort mountain. Waves of high fives and hoots’n’hollers now fill the room and almost overtake the metal blasting from the stereo; a perfect blend of sound indicating another perfect day in paradise; we are the warriors of shred.
7:03 am. The lost glove is found; the wallet was in the “other” jacket; the snow is brushed off the seat and off the vehicle floor; shred gear is loaded into roof racks, trunks, trailers and truck-beds; the sky is blue and the morning sun flickers through beams of light that shine and bounce off of every snowflake on the ground and in the air; coffee mugs are filled to the brim; the morning bong tokes begin to enhance the intensity of the sunlight and begin to bring a slight grin to each person’s face; the first adventure of the day begins… get to the mountains.
7:55 am. Two close calls, numerous road beers, 2 PRJ’s and countless high fives and hollers later the arrival at the mountain becomes a reality. The drive up to the mountain must always consist of pump-up music and anything that gets one “stoked.” If that means putting the windows down and fist-bumping to the loudest silly music, then by all means giv’r shit bud; just keep your eyes on the road because I will NOT die listening to Mmmbop flying off a mountain road at 100km/h… not going to happen.
8:20 am. Gear is on the ground of the parking lot and vehicles are parked and accounted for. Somebody lights up another PRJ and proceeds to improve everyone’s mood by spreading the good green vibes to everyone who wishes to partake. Like an undefeatable army, the group moves towards the gondola like a group of warriors looking to conquer new worlds. The collective stoke only rises as the group crams themselves into one gondola, or two, and starts the final ascent to greatness. As the cabin rises into the mountains, the true greatness of the day is revealed by each passing line opportunity and snowy feature that lies underneath the gondolas path up the mountainside. Eyes begin to race the sides of the mountain looking for the perfect line, the perfect turn, the perfect choice. Not a second of time will be wasted today; everybody is on their game, and it shows in the ride up. Silence fills the cabin as eyes scan the fresh snow looking for the best spots. Somebody finds something of interest and shouts out to alert the others; heads turn in an instant and look towards the mentioned zone; target acquired.
8:40 am. On top of the world. Stepping out of the gondola cabin reveals a world that seems to be out of our own. The raw, intense contrast of white snow on blue sky fills the entire visual spectrum and illuminates the whole landscape. A light wind blows the loose snow around and creates vibrant rays of light sparkling off of moving snowflakes; magic is real.
The crunch of new and old snow being compacted under snowboots fills the air as the warriors march towards their chosen path. The crunches of snow transition and fade into snowboards thudding into the fresh powder and coming to a halt on the crushed snow underneath. Words of stoke and good vibrations fill the air between clicks and clacks of ratchets and bindings tightening against the cold boot fabric; a distant voice shouts out, “Best day ever!” As the shout fades into the distance, the warriors all acknowledge that everyone is strapped in, gloves on, music cranked; our goggles and minds clear of fog. With a raise of the fist, the person at the front of the pack lifts their arm and points to an endless ocean of powder, trees, cliffs and steeps. It is here we tell our stories; it is here we fight our internal battles to create that which we wish to create; it is here that we make adventure a reality and turn these pieces of wood and metal into weapons of creation and endless fun.
Eat, sleep, shred, repeat.