By Keith Liggett


They call it stormy Monday,
But Tuesday’s just as bad.
They call it stormy Monday,
But Tuesday’s just as bad.
Wednesday’s worse,
And Thursday’s oh so sad.

Stormy Monday, T-Bone Walker (1947)

It was a dark and stormy night. We woke to broken clouds and breaking snow squalls. And, as a typical, little wind. The Griz showed over 25 cm. The official phoned in word–17cm.

It was white, soft and all over.

Nothing more need be said.

Dominic Pelicano "Stormy Monday"

Sending off my morning work, I headed up for the first chair. We dropped off the Bear and seeing Cedar and upper Lizard were closed, headed down the skiers left in almost untracked pow. At Tower Six, we scooted into Lizard. The few folks before us dropped in and we just kept going. And going. On the pitch before Dancer, I swung left, dropped in. Snow billowed to my waist. I floated down to the sign at the top of Lizard run out and hooked over to the pitch to the right, the one dropping down onto the cat track just past the bridge. More fresh tracks. And back to the Bear.

The first run. From now on, I’ll believe the Griz over FAR marketing any day.

I only had time for a couple runs before line-up. My ski school class was a returning top class. Matt told RSJ and I to evaluate the top two groups and split them. We bolted back to the top of the Bear.

As we rode the Bear, Alan, my returning student from the day before, asked, “Can’t we play hooky?”

“On days like this we concentrate on mileage.”

He smiled, nodded, understanding.

The split was obvious. Three with rotation and ski separation issues. They went with RSJ. I took Alan, who’s skied Fernie since it was mostly T-bars and Beth, who only needed a little tweaking on her stance and all would be good.

Mileage.

The first pitch was about rhythm. The second pitch was about bounce. The third pitch was about knees. They each—explanation and skiing–took about as long as it takes to read this. We were moving fast. The Cliff Notes version of Powder 101. By the bottom of the third pitch, Alan smoothed out and Beth was well on her way. Her issue was as much powder psyche-out as skill. She hesitated in the start of every turn.

We went back to rhythm and bounce. Set a rhythm, set a radius and take the choice out of where you turn. She/he who hesitates is lost.

Turn.

Turn.

Turn.

And you are skiing, really skiing powder.

The class broke at the end of the morning and I met a friend in the Griz for a $9.99 barbequed burger and beer. The perfect mid-day break.

And it was up to the Bear again.

Stormy Monday. And Tuesday’s just the same. Wednesday and Thursday just as bad. Oh so sad. Oh so sad.

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