We left the city in the dark, arriving at Swift Creek with a healthy greeting of snow. Falling fat flakes made it difficult to get dressed in our gear without our cozy layers being intruded on. After turning on our transceivers and peeling our skins apart like frozen fruit leathers, we began our ascent up the hill. I had no idea where we were going, but with the depth of the snow increasing in front of my eager eyes, I didn’t mind. We were headed somewhere good.
Slowly waking up with the sun, clouds drifted apart with each layer of clothing we freed our heated bodies from, we became exposed to the views around us. Mountain peaks coated in thick crystal, softly reflecting golden hues back to the sky.
This was my thick oasis. A paradise - to slip away from the real world, to be reminded what life is like outside the city. In the city it can be hard to uncover the feeling of joy that gets ignited when I am in the mountains. The sense of freedom that grows stronger each descent. My bones felt lighter. Laps of fresh tracks, knee-deep snow that cleansed my legs when they got tired, smiles plastered to our faces. A full day of learning and practicing kick turns, making them smooth as butter. Feeling in flow, a space cushioned with ease of focus and bliss.
A warm pink began to lick the tips of the peaks we were nestled in, marking the end of our day with alpenglow. My tired body was thankful for a second sandwich I had saved for the car. I took off my snow pants and shell, changed my socks, and quickly zipped on my pillowy jacket. The chocolate I had brought was a pleasure to share with my friends, who had also entered post-ski snacking mode.
Joy still lingered and softly vibrated through my body as we headed home in the dark. I relished in the warmth that came with being wrapped up in down jackets and good company.