First Snowfall: Feeling the Itch

Snow on my car, it’s the first of the season in central Minnesota. It triggers an emotional response in the amygdala located deep within the temporal lobes of my brain. In the Teton Range, where I will be skiing in two months, they have received over four feet of snow.

I started skiing when I was four years old. On wooden skis with leather bindings, my feet in tiny leather boots with a single buckle, my dad pushed me down a slope of minimal grade. I still remember being terrified. So began my love affair with a sport that has embraced me for 50 years.

In 1972, I moved to Colorado to ski, climb and go to college. For me, the golden years were 1977 to 1984. Equipped with 205 cm long fiberglass skis, 60 mm wide, three pin bindings, and stiff Asolo Snowpine leather boots, we made backcountry tracks up into the mountains of Colorado and skied telemark turns down untracked bowls of powder. We rarely, if ever, saw a ski track or other skiers.  From the Never Summer Mountains in the north to the San Juan Mountains in the south we skied where few had gone before.

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