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Why We Ski: Powder

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“Uh, yeah, Susan? This is Pete (cough, cough). Listen (cough), could you tell Bob I won’t be in today? Yeah, uh, I think it’s coming down out there…I mean, I think I’m coming down with something…” Powder day. Sell the house, sell the car, sell the kids: We’re going skiing. We don’t care if it’s windblown and drifted. We like Sierra cement as much as Steamboat champagne and Wasatch fluff. We like it down our necks, packed in our nostrils and piled so high we can’t find the car. We like it as often as we can get it, but we also know that if it were there all the time, it wouldn’t be as special. There’s nothing like skiing down a mountain cloaked in powder snow. Noises are muffled. Impacts are softened. Best of all, wipeouts are virtually free of consequence. Our skis turnas if unbidden, while waves of white break against our thighs, waist, chest, face. Any deeper and we’d suffocate. What a way to go.