So in the last ‘The Way I Ski It’ I said that the little British Snow Reporter had not yet mastered the Peak. I wouldn’t say ‘mastered’ is quite the right word yet, but I am very proud to say that I skied the Tram for the first time this weekend!
I was riding up Swifty and Paul, who I was skiing with that day, said that it would be a perfect opportunity to try out the top of the mountain. I couldn’t really argue; it was a beautiful blue-bird day, the wind was minimal and there was still plenty of snow left from the big powder dump we had a few days before. Still, I have to admit I felt a little trepidation at the prospect; I mean, this is what I’ve been trying to work up to all season.
We headed up the Triple and skied down to the Tram line, where we ended up just behind a couple of other Big Sky locals. I got chatting to Jodi from Accounting and found that, same as me, it was her first time up to the Peak. So there was not one, but two Tram virgins on the ride up to the top!
Upon exiting the Tram car, the view was both breathtaking and intimidating: the scenery was absolutely spectacular, with the sky so clear you could see all the way to the Tetons, but at the same time I saw that the only way to go was down. Straight down. And to me, it looked a long way. Jodi and I both stood wondering why we had decided to do this, with the guys telling us we really had nothing to worry about. A few deep breaths later, I resolutely stepped into my skis.
Liberty Bowl is one of the easier runs off the Peak – I admit now that it really isn’t any steeper than the Bowl, it’s just longer and, to a first-time Peak skier, it’s a little scarier to get to. I made my way down the first part very slowly and carefully, with Paul very patiently staying not too far ahead of me as I tried to persuade myself that it really wasn’t all that bad. I fell once near the top – possibly more due to nerves than anything else – but once I got into the swing of things I found that far from being the traumatic challenge I had been anticipating, I was actually really enjoying myself. The snow was perfect for me, a few inches of tracked powder to give me the confidence that if I fell could stop, and enough to give my legs a pretty good work out! The slope was long and wide, with plenty of space to stay clear of the few other skiers around. Once she got going, Jodi looked awesome skiing down to the left of me, while I took my time making turns down the middle of the run, working up my speed as my confidence increased.
By the time I reached the bottom, my legs were pretty tired, but oh was I happy that I’d made it! Paul and I then proceeded along Sunlight, which true to its name had been basking in the sun all morning and had some lovely buttery snow all the way down to Shedhorn. We rode the chair back up, and headed back around on the Duck Walk. Calamity Jane was fun to speed down on our way back to the base area, and I swear we hardly saw another soul the entire way down.
Once back in the base area, I decided I deserved a drink to celebrate my achievement, so we sat out in the sun on the deck of the Carabiner for a well-earned beer.
Bring on the next day I can get out and try to conquer the Peak again!