Yesterday I drove to Sunday River. It’s not a drive I make very often; Sunday River is best described as fat and flat, and those are not qualities I seek in a, um, mountain.
But Wednesday was day one of Heat Harvest 2, an event I was compelled to attend owing to my vague sense of duty to a certain magazine.
With assistance from the east’s finest purveyor of ski porn, the Sunday River crew had constructed an 80-foot gap jump that I found frightening just to look at. But I hung tough and watched as skier after skier after snowboarder hurled through the air high above that scary mound of snow. Some of them even landed.
I’ve never really understood the pipe/park/jib scene, and I still don’t. On a purely academic level, I know that what these guys are doing is really cool and really hard. But no matter how corked they get, no matter how many rotations they manage before landing in a spray of snow and shout-outs, I’m left a little cold.
Give me a powder day. Give me a tree line that starts as little more than a promise, and opens into the delivery: Enough space to backseat it a little, let the tips rise, and arc through the Vermont forest like the snow will never melt, like this winter will never end.
Which, come to think of it, it might not.