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When timing is everything

Steve Benson

Timing – it can be the difference between an average and epic day in Highland Bowl. On Thursday, we had timing on our side. The bowl opened just before we unloaded Loge. But there was already a sizable line waiting for the cat and a trail of ants climbing the ridge. So we hoofed it with all the other impatient powder junkies. Then, just before the main gate, timing threw us a curve ball. My girlfriend had stuck her tele skis in the snow when a sudden gust of wind took hold of one. Without any brakes, the board sailed off the catwalk and shot into Temerity. I just stood there and began to mutter, “Ohhhh shiiii…” when my girlfriend leapt like a cat after the ski (as if it were a mouse), and somehow caught it by the tail. There she was, sprawled out on her stomach, feet clinging to the edge of the cat walk, with about an inch of the tail between her fingers. She whipped her neck pretty bad in the process, but as she later said, “I really wanted to ski the bowl.” Priorities. Back on track, we reached the top with full intention of heading into the G-zones, where we might be able to see. But as we stepped into our bindings a window broke through the fog, and the whole bowl opened up below us. In about two seconds we had all agreed to drop straight down into Full Curl and O-zone. What happened next was so surprising I almost stopped breathing. O-zone was completely untracked, the snow was over a foot deep, the moisture content was incredibly low, and there was no sign of any wind manipulation. I thought I was dreaming, and with each breath came another bellowing roar of joy.When we reached the basin, we peered up to find dozens following our tracks, which by now were stationary waterfalls of slough glistening in the sudden sun. Never in my life did I think I’d get first tracks in a foot of light and dry down the gut of the bowl. Timing, I owe you one. By the way, Highlands, and the bowl, close for the season today.


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