Few joys of this temporal world compare to the exhilarating sensation of flying, yes, flying down steep-landscaped, softly blanketed slopes. The spine-tingling experience is a delight for all of the senses. I am most alive when partaking of this popular hobby and feel as though time does not even exist. I will seek to paint a picture, though I doubt that with even the gravest of attempts that I shall do it justice. Therefore, to those fellow skiers who well understand the greatness to which I am about attest, please accept my sincerest apologies for any inadequacies that should befall you whilst reading.If cold has a taste, then I know what it is, experiencing microscopic flakes alighting on the tip of the tongue while swooshing down a snow-covered, mogul-free slope at optimal speed. This pleasure, although in seldom occurrence, is quite special.
The tingling, frigid sensation is unlike any licking of a mere a mint-chocolate chip ice cream cone. Nay. The severely cold flake is undaunted by flavor. Its single attribute in the department of taste is clean. Its single lasting effect is refreshing. As for the visuals, God has not left any stone unturned, so to speak.The splendor that is a white-capped mountain is far more lovely and poetic than any shakespearean sonnet.
For that matter, this dead poet could not pen majestic enough words to paint such a splendor. This vast beauty cannot be experienced through a picture though. The heart must be present to imbibe the magnitude. As if grandiose peaks were not enough, God saw fit to perfectly dot each horizon with unblemished, perfectly symmetrical evergreens. Why should so many trees lose their grandeur during winter’s visit?Such is not the case for noble pine, whose duty of never-ending beauty is upheld year round. Only an almighty God could envision such a landscape.
An attempt to depict the sunrise, as the gentle, yet powerful orb slowly breaks over the horizon, seems futile. Viewing the powerful, golden rays as they gleam and almost seem to bounce off the snow is the closest I can imagine the gates of heaven will resemble. As the sunlight tenderly caresses the mountains, the appearance is as though millions of miniature diamonds have been secretly placed overnight as I slumbered.The vision is so magnificent it almost seems as if I, a mere mortal, were never meant to behold such a sight.
The only thing I can do at this point is to praise such a thoughtful, powerful God, and adorn sunglasses with high UV protect, as those rays glinting off that snow can be down-right blinding. Sound is all over the spectrum as far as intensity is concerned, from the loudest to the softest. As one could imagine, shouts of joy and laughter pierce many crowded spots on the mountainside. The elation felt by this stimulating pass-time is harmoniously shared by all.An occasional panic-filled yelp can be overheard by snow bunnies on inaugural runs, but other than that, the sounds are those made by young and old who are the most content they could possibly be while still living on this planet. Another sound that can be quite hypnotic is the mechanical workings of the ski lifts. I love to observe them on the long, somber journey up the mountainside.
I play a game, imagining their age and years of labored devotion, serving merry skiers of all ages. I wonder to myself if those loud creaks and groans of the gears are a sign of impending doom for me, by sending me plummeting out of my seat 30 feet below.Would it be better to land in a ravine or deep snow embankment? I do not know the answer to this question, as I have never happened across a lift that has let me down yet. Finally, the last sound, and my favorite of all, is the sound of silence, as Simon and Garfunkel once coined. Being alone and vulnerable in the still of a mountainside is when I hear God shouting the loudest through His Creation. Have you ever sat and pondered how often you hear nothing? In our lifetime, these occasions are few and far between.
Yet, when they do happen, they should be coveted and regarded as sacred.I have these divine encounters multiple times daily while skiing. All it takes is navigating off the beaten path to steal away some quiet time. What does snow smell like? The absence of odor is a fine quality to have. When frozen precipitation is inhaled deeply into the circulatory system, a miraculous event occurs. I liken it to a ‘spring cleaning’ that we might perform on our houses once a year, a sort of clearing out of the dusty cobwebs and far reaching nooks and crannies of neglected cupboards.
A deep inhalation of such snow-kissed air has the same effect on the lungs.The feeling is one of perhaps trading in the old pair, for a brand new set. So, the smell, which is not so much of a smell, as a rejuvenating sensation for entire the entire system, is sheer heaven. One of which can only be accomplished while visiting the frosty surrounds of mile-high mountains. The extremes of temperature can bring about rapid changes in our sense of touch. First of all, winter skiing is usually done in single-digit degree-days, which is the best kind of all, makes the powder nice and frisky, downright inviting for the early-morning run.That being said, the flesh has a tendency to get cold, painfully so at times.
If one is skiing correctly though, it is a heart-pounding workout, usually rendering most leg muscles to gelatinous goo at day’s end. Nevertheless, the extremities, such as toes and fingers, can suffer greatly on the long, slow lift rides, a rather small price to pay as you sit in excitement for what lay ahead. Mostly I just pray for all sense of feeling in those areas to go away, as opposed to a throbby, achy cold sensation, which can just be a nuisance to an otherwise perfect afternoon.The only part exposed on a typical winter skier is the nose, for obvious reasons, which brings to mind another memorable sensation that can only occur while in a frigid landscape. This experience includes the snowflakes shooting up the nose while skiing down a mountain at a hundred miles an hour. The sensation cannot really be adequately likened to much else, as far as I can see. Perhaps the closest thing would be to empty the contents of a snow cone, minus the syrup, up into one’s nose.
Other than that, one would not be able to understand what this sensation feels like, and I’m not sure I recommend the latter as a safe or pleasant experiment. That is all I can say to elucidate the greatness that is skiing. It sends all senses to their very zenith of enjoyment. The exhaustion experienced when skiing is over is more of an overindulgence of all the senses. Yes, the body grows weary, but it has been truly blessed, in every way, during the process. The only thing left is to give thanks to the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-present Creator who experiences the thrill with me and made it all possible.