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Mountain mornings

They say a woman is most beautiful just as she awakens in the delicate moments of morning. Taking her first breaths of the new day, her lashes flicker, then slowly rise letting the sun shine into her light eyes. Fresh, untouched and innocent before the day, with hair strewn about and skin still pale.

Such the same can be said about the morning grace of a mountain. When the sun creeps slowly up the hillside warming the frigid landscape and welcoming in a new day of bluebird, cold and stillness.

Saturday morning. First chair of the season through a sun-sliced winter scene. It never looses its enchantment. When you’re suspended in an atmosphere so cold and silent, the peace from these slowly swinging moments seeps in, pushing out crude thoughts of… The icy air finds its way into the openings in your astronaut suit and into your moonboots, pricking your ears and nipping at the toes. The peaks, dashing in white, accented with browns and greens rise to meet the sun’s rays. Below you, blue runs and sparkling white. A sea of mist sits in the valley. And the heart is bursting for the beauty. But all you can do is smile with eyes bright staring at the sun, maybe a bit too long. To make a sound right now would surely seem ill-mannered in such a polite morning hush of Nature’s delicate awakening.

Then the carving sounds begin. The scraping of edges on ice. It hasn’t snowed in a week. The dry lips are cracking. Every few moments in the stillness, the long swoosh of uncontrolled heel siding, then quick to slippery toe-siding creates cringe-inducing shaving sounds that cut like jagged knives through the thin atmosphere. With hardly any edges on my board, this is will be work. But I’ll take what I can get in the early season conditions.  Along the treeline there’s more snow cover, light and fun. There are lips to skip and hips to drop. The hardpack is fast, the ice is sketch. But the scene is incredible. Even it is delicately deceptive.

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