Snowboard Season Debrief

So, it’s definitely over now.

This is Bloc Party’s “Banquet,” and to me it’s a perfect snowboarding song:

Stevie Wonder’s “Part-time Lover” also applies here.

Sometimes – while walking the pooch on a sunny, warm day – these songs will pop up randomly on Shuffle, and I’ll be magically transported back in time to a particular sweet run on my snowboard. I imagine acid flashbacks are similar. Those songs are fast, and they bounce in this great way that fits so well with flying down a mountain on soft, smooth powder. There’s a balance between hard-core pump-up song and hang-out song that must be achieved in the ideal snowboard jam. Those two and many, many others* achieve that balance.

These jams blast in my ears as I blast past skiers I judge both silently and out loud (“You wish you could do this!” “Texas forever!”) for their methodical meandering.2506_1126013434593_291567_n

This winter I got a minimum-wage job at the Ski Santa Fe hill here. I was a lifty. We lifties run the mountain, scanning tickets and putting butts gently onto ski-lift chairs. It was an honor, and a lot of fun. The big perk of being a lifty is the free ski pass, obviously. And when it’s not busy, there are chances for “run breaks,” which probably does not need quotation marks.

Even though I live in Santa Fe, I’d only been to Ski Santa Fe a couple times, years ago. When I wanna ride I almost exclusively drive the three hours to Wolf Creek, in Pagosa Springs, Colo., because it gets amazing snow. I bomb the face at Wolf Creek to those two songs and others* over and over and over and over. I love Wolf Creek.

But I’m a Santa Fe man now. It wasn’t consistent, granted, but when there was good snow at Ski Santa Fe the runs were a revelation, a perfect combination of fast easy groomers and plush, untracked romps through trees. (Such fun was had in Sunset Glade.) I had maybe seven really fantastic powder days, with hours of riding, up at Ski Santa Fe. Good, Godly glory.

I’m not sure I’ll be back next season, but I’m grateful to that mountain for a terrific winter. I made lines to those songs I’ll flash back to for the rest of my life.

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* Golden Earring, “Radar Love.” Gnarls Barkley, “When Was the Last Time You Danced?” Pretty Lights “Chicago Bulls Theme Remix.” Pearl Jam, “Rearview Mirror.” The Bravery, “An Honest Mistake.” Death Cab for Cutie, “Soul Meets Body.” Rob Zombie “Never Gonna Stop.” (Not all snowboard songs need the balance.)

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