It starts with the little things. A certain chill in the air; leaves blushing amber then tumbling to the ground to form carpets of rust and gold; the first dusting of white on the North Shore mountains.
Then it gets bigger. A drive to Whistler where the snowline plunges toward the road as the car climbs. The first snowflakes, spiralling like tiny stars falling to earth. That particular greyness in the clouds. Air that grows heavy, laden with promise. A line painted across the mountains, drawing closer.
And you reach the breaking point where there is literally nothing but anticipation because the world you’ve missed so desperately, the world that doesn’t exist for six months of the year, is finally going to open its doors again.
You find yourself in this strange space that’s part dream, part hope, and part memory. The best days you ever knew blur together; from them you draw images of the lines to come, arcing through the trees, bursting over small rises, breathing the snow, moving through a place that feels too amazing to be real.
Skiing takes place in this strange, utterly unique space where gravity doesn’t apply, where reality isn’t what it appears to be. When the snow fills in the land, all the harshness is smoothed over. All you have to do is breathe, and drop into the white. Suddenly you’re flying across the face of the world itself. There’s no distinction anymore between the place where the air ends and the snow begins. All the rules that normally govern movement are broken. And your heart hammers, and your breath comes faster, and at the end of every run all you want is more and more and more.
We’re so close now. All my dreams, waking and sleeping, are of snow.