“Let’s find a jump,” the 13-year-old says.
“I know just the place,” Bob replies. He plans the next run around a nice four-foot boulder and even packs out the ramp for the group. Then it’s back to the routine: Dial up a playlist and break out the snacks on the ride up, and draw sinewy lines down yet another open expanse.
At 2 pm, after 13 runs of roughly 1,000 vertical feet each, we call it a day and pull up to the wilderness lunch cabin that looks out on the Elk Range. The door opens to ravioli, a tureen of cauliflower soup, salads, and plates of fruits, cheeses, and charcuterie. Champagne corks pop, the wine flows, and the chair masseuse awaits any takers. We cap off the meal with espresso and fresh Rice Krispies treats, then pile in for the ride back to the resort, where the group splits up according to favored runs back to town.
Spar Gulch, around Kleenex Corner, and over Niagara to Ajax Tavern at the gondola’s base proves a reality dose of tightly carved edges, slow signs, yielding, and bumps. It’s a bit before 4, but the après scene is already three deep at the bar. Powder dilemma: solved. Next season I’ll work on the patio seats.