Monday, March 7, 2011
The Tale of a Winter Walk
Benjamin Louis Pelegrino, my boss and friend said, "let's go tour tomorrow" holding his brand new splitboard Burton had sent him. Naturally I said yes, so the next morning I drove up to his place with Parker and we headed for the White Pine Trailhead.
We laughed and enjoyed the deep settled powder as we made turns through the trees. Things were wonderful, but then mother nature decided to start messing with us. As we were traversing down the canyon to our next line we pushed our way through some trees whereupon I was attacked by a branch. I pushed the little sucker out of my way, but as I started to make my way forward I bent it just a little too far. SNAP. The stupid branch broke at my hand and recoiled straight into my face. Whap! Right in the nose. Idiot tree. I will probably go cut it down and burn it so it can't reproduce and make more idiot trees.
As we continued making the traverse across the increasingly steep slope, I looked up just in time to see Ben look down slope not noticing his downhill foot had given way while turning his head. He began a slow motion, narcoleptic looking fall straight off of the skin track onto his head in a tree well. I didn't laugh at first, I thought he was going to keep going down the hill through some trees. When I heard a muffled, "awe man..." from the tangled heap I began to crack up. After helping him get untangled we eventually made our destination: Red Pine Chute. We strapped in and had some awesome turns. But there is more to the story.
Parker went first, then Ben and I had the final drop. The snow was heavy but fun and we all made the bottom just fine. Smiles and a high five type moment. We looked down the rest of the slope to the river and noticed a she moose. The she moose didn't care what we were doing, but we gave her some space. As I was riding down to the river I suddenly was face down in the snow after hearing a loud snap. "I hit a stick. Crap... that was silly of me." But as I looked up to see what hidden little land mine had taken me out I noticed it was no stick. It was a big fat stump. The brain wheels were turning and I eventually figured I should look at my snowboard. Broke. It was not just broken... it was broke. The whole thing. Broke. So I tumbled down the last remaining slope to the river.
Obviously, since things were going so well for me I decided I would find the way across the river. So I set out looking. Funny thing about rivers in the winter is they form these things called snow-bridges. Now, these snow-bridges may look like sturdy ground, but I testify that they aren't. I splashed down into some almost waist deep water cursing as I scrambled to get back out. I couldn't even hear the laughter in the background for a little bit. I splashed my way across the river taking the snow off of the rocks so the others could cross before lobbing my board up on the bank only to see it make it's merry way out of sight. I thought for sure it was lost in the river. Thank goodness it wasn't.... I needed some of it.
When we finally arrived at the road I hitch hiked back to the car. We laughed about all of our follies and we grabbed some grub at Lonestar. What a great tour. It was one that will stay with me, that is for sure.