Just about any day of skiing is great. But those days when fresh powder is underfoot and over a foot are just a little bit greater. Fortunately for us, this week had a couple of those days, and even more are forecast for the future.Powder days are nirvana for skiers. They are the perfect combination of the weather working its moisture flows and its high- and low-pressure systems in concert to drop fluffy, light snow in large amounts right where we want it. Some powder days, like Wednesday of this week, put you in the middle of the storm as it does its thing. Skiing on Aspen Mountain that afternoon let skiers look the snowfall right in the eye as clouds enveloped the mountain, dropping flake after flake, adding to the fluff that got deeper and deeper as the day progressed. It was perfect in every sense. Not too cold. No wind. Just the howling of skiers on a soft afternoon as they made their way down the Dumps and across Bell Mountain.Other powder days, like Thursday, are straight out of a dream. Those are the mornings that shine bright as the sun illuminates a smooth carpet of freshly fallen, undisturbed snow. The individual flakes sparkle in the sun with a nearly hallucinogenic brilliance. As surfers converge on big-wave days, skiers do the same on powder mornings. It is said that there are “no friends on powder days,” meaning one waits for no one when fresh tracks are to be had. But that doesn’t explain the furious rush of phone calls that take place early on powder mornings as friends make plans to meet lift-side. After all, the only thing better than a solitary powder day is one shared with good friends.That’s why so many in this valley look forward all year to their Canadian holidays, where they convene in huts in hollows with helicopters at their beck and call. They spend outrageous amounts of money so they can ski powder and be with their buddies.Just like you can here.Oh sure, the snow may not be quite as deep, and you’ll have to ride lifts instead of Bell jet copters, and finding a clean line might require a little more creativity. But when you hit your stride and link some powder turns on Powderhorn or in the Bowl or down Jackpot, it will feel like you’re skiing the best snow on earth. And at the end of the day you get to be in Aspen.All in all, a pretty great day of skiing.
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For those of you who follow my monthly missives, and occasionally read between the lines, you may have noticed a trend toward a bit of cognitive dissonance and some internal conflict on my part.