A Telluride Storm

Telluride, Colorado. It wasn't supposed to snow Wednesday night, but it did—nine inches of perfectly light snow on top of nearly three feet of fresh snow that fell earlier this week. And then, in that incomparably magic way, the clouds parted at nine a.m., just as the lifts opened. Snow crystals sparkled in sunlight, floating lazily in impossibly still air. Mountain tops gleamed in coats of fresh white.

You ski these days in a kind of bedazzlement: a spell of disbelief and euphoria and heart-pounding adrenaline, surrounded always by ethereal clouds of billowing white. Part of the day is spent in a mad rush for those precious patches of fresh that vanish all too quickly beneath the furious edges of the powder hoards. And then the pace changes; you explore less-traveled parts of the mountain. You take your time, savor the views of those mountain tops, bask in the sunshine.

Later still, you perhaps find your way onto a few groomers, flitting in and out of smooth snow and chop, giving spent legs a much-needed rest. And somewhere, in all these myriad moments, it hits you: this is indeed the greatest sport on Earth. There is nothing else like it. You don't know how to describe it, or explain it, or even what it is, exactly, that makes it so incomparable. But you know it's perfect, just perfect, just as it is.

It's funny: rainy days get dreary and depressing for me very quickly, but turn rain to snow and everything changes. When I watch these shots, even here in my sea-level apartment, I can feel the snow beneath my feet, feel it billowing up around me in great glittering clouds. My heart quickens; my hands grasp imaginary ski poles. I think I'm ready for another run. How about you?

— March 5, 2013

Andy Lewicky is the author and creator of SierraDescents

brad brown March 5, 2013 at 2:31 pm

Hell yes. Or waking up the 6th time to see if the weather reporter wasn't on crack, the 5am avy blast (no alarm required), the sound of the truck flawless starting (whew!), mental gear check #33, ....then the drive back down steering and pressuring the legs on each corner with the tip of the steering wheel a pole plant. If this be insanity I shun the cure.

charles March 6, 2013 at 5:34 am

Wow. Really beautiful.

Andrew March 6, 2013 at 9:27 am

Andy, what camera did you shoot this video on? Doesn't look like a GoPro...

Andy March 6, 2013 at 4:33 pm

Andrew this was shot with my Sony RX100.

Corrado March 8, 2013 at 5:31 pm

yea Andy, I share your feelings: rain is bad but snow is fantastic! Look here > http://vivivda.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/powder-skiing-in-cervinia/

Kiko March 8, 2013 at 7:00 pm

I love that place so much. Headed out there on Wednesday next week!

Corrado March 9, 2013 at 4:29 pm

#Kiko, "there" is Telluride or Cervinia? If you come to Cervinia (or Zermatt) send a message > cordef@gmail.com: we live there and ski almost every day

Geo April 25, 2013 at 2:02 am

Does it ever snow enough there to cover the bumps?