My Happy Place

One of the things I love most about skiing is that you can go out solo and have a blast all by your lonesome. On Friday morning I was lucky enough to find some free time to get out early and do some soul skiing. Without sounding too new-agey, I am going to take this opportunity to wax poetic about the spiritual connection that many, like myself, have with the mountains.

The first-run line of diehards (great people- they truly embody the notion of living to “mountain”) at the Orange Bubble Express had already dissipated, so as I sat down on my plush, heated seat I had just my thoughts for company. I don’t know whether it’s the crisp air, the natural beauty, or being away from the world’s many distractions that allows me to think on a chairlift better than anywhere else. As I rode up the mountain on the brilliant feat of engineering, I had a lot to contemplate and be grateful for. Of course there are the obvious ones – being paid to ski, my luxurious winter accommodations, etc … But strangely enough, what came to mind was much simpler. For instance, the fact that I had a ten-year career on the US Ski Team and retired (more or less) completely unscathed. I was also struck with a deep gratitude for all the amazingly loving people that have touched my life. After trying to mentally breakdown the series of people that were instrumental in helping me land this gig, I finally had to give up when I arrived at the top. There are a lot.

I have to admit that all profound thoughts were thrown to the wind when my skis reached snow. Ah, the wonders of autopilot! I was skiing and obviously in some far off recess of my brain there were synapses telling my body what movements to make, but for the most part, I feel skiing is best described as pure, unadulterated joy. And there is no better sanctuary to experience this than Canyons Resort. Terrain for every level, amazing conditions, and the famous Utah snow that seems heaven sent.  While skiing, my priorities, obligations, and worries, at least for a moment, fall away, and everything is right in the world.

Yogis, monks, and therapists have their modes of fulfillment and awareness, and I deeply respect that. However, I struggle to embrace any of their meditations when my form is so perfect. Whether it is dodging trees in a gully, sweeping through a powdered glade, laying fat arcs on a groomer or dropping into a chute, skiing is my happy place.

For now,

PS- A full recount of the phenomenal party that Canyons Resort, the Waldorf, and “Win Win” put on is coming! Just waiting on some fabulous pics…

Trying to get radical (keyword: “trying”) and laying some tracks…

Trying to get radical (keyword: "trying")

Laying some tracks

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10 Responses to “My Happy Place”

  1. Spot on. It’s exactly why we do what we do. That second paragraph is IT. You tune everything out, tune your gear up, and listen to yourself rip. No phones, no emails, no conference calls or serious issues to ponder. It’s just you (and maybe some friends), and most of the time you don’t need words. You all know exactly what the others are feeling – that complete freedom or “unadulterated joy” as you put it. In the end, it’s the endless pursuit of powder that drives us, and you have one sweet gig for doing just that.

    Looking forward to the next installment.

  2. You made me feel happy just reading about it! Wish I was there.

  3. Looks like you were rippin’.

  4. kaylin… absolutely love reading your blog, but more importantly noticed you ski volkls. i caved and gave up my k2s (after 17 years) for volkls and i fell in love with them! i am looking to get another pair.. any suggestions for a northeast girl who loves to ski fast?

    • I a definitely behind your switch, Maria- great move, I LOVE my volkls too. My question now is: what sort of snow and terrain do you ski most often? With that info I can give you a more complete suggestion. Let me know!

      • Currently just in the Northeast…. mostly PA and VT, with a few rare trips west to Cali, Utah or Colorado mostly. I have Fuegos now and I LOVE THEM! As for terrain, the steeper the better but being in PA, I ski ice mostly…

        • Hi Maria,
          The Fuegos are a GREAT choice for you. However, if you want to switch it up a bit here are some options:
          The Aurora- still good on groomers, but wider underfoot for the rare powder day and a beefier ski if you feel that the Fuegos sometimes were too soft.
          The Tierra- very much like the Fuego, but maybe a little easier to bend and a little wider underfoot to make cutting through the crud easier
          The Kenja- both the other skis are frontside, this is an all-mountain ski made for 50% groomers and 50% off piste. If you can still ski the Fuegos and want more of a departure from the two above, go with the Kenjas- they will be great out west and fun in the east too when it isn’t bullet proof!
          If you really love the Fuegos you can always get another pair of them as well. With Volkl you can’t go wrong!
          Enjoy the skiing, Maria- I hope we can share a run together someday!

  5. Your happy place could easily be one of mine as well :) Let me share something with you and while it is not about skiing it IS about the magic of winter…

    It’s crisp outside, the almost full moon drapes his pale light across the snow covered pastures. I am walking through the deep powder, enjoying the sound it makes, it’s a sound of winter, a sound as old as time. I look at the horses silhouetted against the night sky, their breaths forming lingering clouds that seem to cling to their form and then dissipate into space. I love the silence of the cold winter night and while the young colt gently nuzzles my glove I wonder what could be more beautiful then this, where would I rather be right now, then I smile contently.