Brought to you by Squaw Alpine
Report from March 11, 2021
Today was a crazy day at Squaw.
Well, it was crazy for me at least.
Silverado opened for only the 3rd day all season, I believe.
I should have gone straight to it but I was fully focused on hitting a line called Smooth Air off Granite Chief Peak.
Maybe a bit too focused…
Fox and I went straight there in the morning and started hiking up in a ferocious east wind.
Right when I started hiking, I knew I’d made the wrong decision.
I should have gone to Silverado…
But I kept moving up.
The boot pack was tricky as the wind was refilling the post holes with snow in seconds.
We slogged on.
When we got to the top of Smooth Air the wind was relentless.
It must have been blowing a steady 15-20mph directly from the east.
Directly against my chest.
Directly against my trajectory.
I lined up the air, realized I had a lot of rock to clear, and stepped out a takeoff.
My mind was telling me “This isn’t going to work, man, the wind is too strong, you won’t make it…”
For some reason, I didn’t listen.
I’ve hit this air quite a few times before and it has always just worked out.
But I’d never hit it in an east wind…
It was mostly cloudy in the morning and suddenly, the sun came out.
Something clicked in me, and I sent it.
As soon as I left the ground, I felt the wind hit my hold body with it’s full force and bend my tips up.
I fought to maintain control of my body position.
Instead of going out, I started going down.
It’s difficult enough to clear the rocks on this air, but that east wind today made it impossible for me.
I watched with fascination as the wind thwarted my horizontal motion and steered me right into the rocks.
After all that air, I landed directly on a rock.
I went straight into a tumble and rolled hard twice.
I lost my GoPro and a ski.
I got up, shook myself off, and realized that I was ok.
I found the GoPro right away, but it took me about 20 minutes to find my ski.
My ski was damaged but fully operational.
I thanked my lucky stars and skied incredible powder down to the chair.
I spent the rest of the day in a funk.
I tried a backflip off Main Line Pocket but over-rotated and crashed.
I even collided with my buddy Duane on a groomer and crashed so hard my goggles lens popped off…
I skied the Tube off the Palisades and that went well thankfully.
All in all, it was a funky, humbling day that I won’t soon forget.
Moving forward, I need to listen to my mind when it tells me “No go, buddy.”
I need to listen and make the right call, the safe call, the smart call.