gnar pow

I move my feet forward and back in my snug boots. The board responds to my subtle commands. Ahead, an untouched slope of powder swirling around evergreens beckons. The tip of my nose is freezing. I turn up the volume on the Hamilton soundtrack in my ears. No, I am not throwing away my shot. I zip into the powder, almost up to my knees. I am floating just beneath the surface of the frozen ocean. I look up to see Tyler cut beside me, as my dad ahead of me skis off a kicker jump. Holly zips by and Rick waves us ahead to a secluded trail. 

I spent six of my eight days in Park City on the slopes, and I couldn't be a happier camper. I get so much energy from mountain air. This week of snowboarding was particularly special because I shared it with many friends and family. The picture above has become a dear memory to me. From left to right, Tyler's dad Rick, Tyler, me, my sister Alyssa, my dad Darrin, and Tyler's mom Holly. To me, it represents the beautiful union of our families. I am astounded at the ability of our families to unify despite distance and differences. Moments like that make my heart sing. 

The key to our snowboarding craze was the Epic Passes that we were given as a sort of early Christmas present. In order to "make it worth it" you need to spend six days on the mountain. So we did ;) We were up most days at 8 am to eat breakfast and dress in a million layers to get out on one of the first chairs. We rode through into the afternoon, stopping only for a hot chocolate at the lodge or a soup back at Tyler's house. Each day brought new friends to join us up and down the runs. 

We rode the first four days on the Christmas snow from a few days earlier. By day four however, it was packed and icy. Thankfully, the snow gods heard our prayers and dumped two or three feet over the next few days. Those days brought us off the beaten paths into the more challenging drops with deeper snow. I even tried jumping off things again (with little success, but it brought back the energy of my sophomore year at Sundance). I discovered a new layer of my hubby! Ty is an amazing snowboarder people! I've been riding with him a few times before, but we have typically done basic runs. This week, we logged about fifty hours on the mountain and I saw him do some amazing stunts. For a guy that isn't fond of "going on runs" with me, he hit some crazy athletic jumps. I would literally fall over watching him launch himself off walls nine feet high, and spin off kickers into deep powder. It was so sexy you guys. 

Every day ended with an hour in the hot tub to try and restore our internal body temperature. My strength was completely wasted after some of these days and I would zonk out at nine pm. It felt so good to exhaust my body so thoroughly. Muscles that haven't seen work in a year were finally put to use! I didn't even have any terribly painful wipe outs just some solid face plants! It was a heavenly week.

Shout outs to all the people that rode with us and made this the best week of the year: all of Tyler's family, my dad and his wife Karen, Alyssa, my "step brother" (that's still weird) Seth and his wife Megan, and our friends Jaime and Annie, Mitch, and our wedding photographer Megan (who I've loved being able to become friends with!)

We're looking at tickets to a resort in Europe for our next vacay. The Epic pass covers a handful of amazing mountains through Germany, Austria, France, and Italy. I wanna get my alp on. Any one skied over there? Recommendations or tips?