Last week I was asked to write a guest post for Boardstylist on my favourite snow destination, which was an absolute pleasure to do, but it really got me yearning for a return to Colorado where I spent a season in 2008/9, and have been desperate to revisit ever since.
And as if writing about it hadn’t been enough to stir up feelings of longing, later in the week I then attended a work function hosted by Vail Resorts, during which they tormented us with footage of wide open, powder filled bowls, bluebird skies and the tantalising prospect of winning a holiday there.
Later, as I reminisced about my season in Colorado and time spent cruising around Vail’s Blue Sky Basin, times where I felt wholeheartedly happy, it occurred to me that interspersed among these periods of elation that I experienced on the mountain, were a fair number of equally low points.
My decision to spend a winter in Vail came from a need to escape a job that had started to make me desperately unhappy, and the pain of a deteriorating relationship. But as anyone who’s tried to do similar knows, although a change of scenery can offer a quick fix, the emotional scars have a nasty habit of lingering, no matter how beautiful the scenery.
However, the mountains did offer sanctuary, and any feelings of melancholy that I was experiencing evaporated the instant I strapped on my board at the top of the Mountaintop Express and slid off into the soft powder and euphoric mental state that ensued.
So, when I broke my ankle and suddenly found myself barely able to leave the apartment, let alone hit the foot of fresh pow that inevitably started to fall immediately after, it was a pretty dark time.
But still when I think of times when I’ve felt happiest, it’s on the slopes in Colorado that come to mind every time. The highs that I experienced out there easily eclipsed what were some of the lowest lows I’ve ever had. Memories of those highs are still very much alive inside me and they resurface at the slightest thought of powder and blue skies, manifesting themselves in a deep urge to be back out there.
I know it’s a cliché, but for me, snowboarding and being in the mountains really is better than any drug. It even eases notoriously incurable maladies, from hangovers to a broken heart. I only wish it was an outlet that was more readily available to me.
Unfortunately, like a drug, it’s also addictive, and the come down that you experience when a holiday or the season ends can be intense, particularly if it happens abruptly.
It’s been too long since my last fix of Colorado powder and I really am craving another hit. And seeing as my season there was cut cruelly short, I do think it’s high time for a return trip. I’m just gutted that I didn’t win that holiday…!
Do the mountains have this effect on anyone else, or is it just me?! Leave me a comment, I’d love to hear from you!