I’m on a fast-track lift; there are three college students next to me. I laugh with them and then we pull up the lift-bar before the chair deposits us at the top of Camelback’s western slope.
My brothers follow soon after, we had all taken the single lift line to save time. Over 7,000 people are on the mountain today and we are hurting for time; better to be up quicker than to have to wait to be together. “Where are we hitting?” I call out over the wind and the sounds of the lift. “I dunno, how about terrain again?” Replies my brother Alex, as Nik stares off wistfully at the slopes. “Nik, you good with terrain?” I ask, and his answer is almost so instinctual I can see the shrug before his lips move. “Yeah, sure.”
And so we all move, pushing off and dipping down the curves of the jump-laden slope. We’ve been skiing all day at this point and bickered before on when to go in, but that hardly matters once gravity takes hold and muscle memory does the rest. The ‘ksshh’ of our skis cutting through the ice and the powder mixing with the different music we’re all listening too. Almost certainly we’re going to complain about the lines when we get to the bottom, or argue that we should go in now, but when you’re a mountain-trace it never seems to matter, and I don’t mind it one bit.