There’s a culture here, a unique intensive vibe that resounds through the people of the mountain. The mountain that never sleeps. The people and their restless energy. The tree’s that crack and creak, the blowing wind and sleeting rain. The complete silence and hustle-bustle, the swish of snow on skis.
The day’s start early and sometimes there is no night. When the temperature is just right the snow makers begin their day. Huge hoses are lugged around and a big heavy machine mixes the water into snow. It’s really, a science. The groomers come creeping out in big huge cat machines. Quitely chasing the wildlife around in the earliest of the morning.
The mountain begins its rumbling when the maintenance crew fires up the lifts. Once a lift is on it cannot be left unattended. The lift operations begin the day. It’s not even 7 am at 49°N and the boy’s are hollering and shoving each other in their good-natured way. The vibe grows like a drum starting faintly and the crescendo creeps sleepily in.
The kitchen crew is beginning to make some delicious smells. The patrollers come out in droves like a small army. Shoveling, and carry all manners of equipment around. The mountain host’s, instructors, and ticket office personnel buzz around. The drums get louder as we all get stoked to ride! The groomers bring the huge snow cats in and come around sharing tales of great snow and new runs. The customer’s are arriving.
The vibe flows deep and loud as we intermix in the hype. There’s fist bumps and high fives, plans are made and all is set. The resort practically thrums as the radios mix in the morning report. We all listen in anticipation as the patrollers sound of their run reports. Everything is ready, the day can officially begin.
The drums crescendo at 9 am as the line pushes onto the chair lift. The song begins. The day ebbs and flows and the vibe grows. The cajoling and cat-calling carries us through. We hit up a run with buddy, just to split and ride with another. Here we are a strangely interconnected family. Everyone talks to everyone. Stories and tips are shared as the hype continues up on chair lift conversations.
Everyone is responsible for everyone. No one passes by someone who needs help. We all struggle, sometimes people get hurt. We soar, we fly, we’re responsible for ourselves. Only you can get you down this mountain! Yet we’re all in it together.
Pausing for a moment to take a picture. I try to capture the majestic mountain’s beauty. The wind blows and all is quiet You can here the tinkling of ice falling down the ski run. The tree’s are talking, they crack at the different temperatures. There’s bunny rabbit tracks in the fresh snow and then again the all to familiar swish.
When the day is done and last of the lifty’s smiles. The patrollers sweep the mountain looking for the lost. Finally the roaring lifts quiet.The clunck of ski boots fills the lodge and the rental shop ignites. We’re wiped out tired, but spirits are high! There’s a week’s worth of excited tales to tell our friend’s. The bar is in full swing and people are lugging their equipment down to their cars and trucks.
I took a picture, but it didn’t really capture the moment. It didn’t capture the feeling; the thrill, the excitement. The song slows down as little ones fall asleep in the car. The sunset firmly plants the vibe of the day in a skiers memory. The bartender calls last call.
The manager’s are all fine tuning their book work as the lights begin to wink out. Small meetings are dispersed as race plans are laid out. The custodian begins his shift, on the mountain that never sleeps.