Sunday, March 25, 2012
WEEKEND RAVE: SKI NIGHT!
I haven’t been skiing at all this year and only once last year, but was lucky enough to get a couple of cheap lift tickets for night skiing, which starts at 3:00. This time of year, “night skiing” includes a lot of daytime skiing, too, since it doesn’t really get dark on the mountain until after 7:00. It was the right time to go.
It was both relaxing and awe-inspiring to watch the sun go lower, sink behind the mountain on the west while still shining on the peaks to the east, then watch as the sky darkened and a tiny sliver of crescent moon appeared in the west where the sunset was fading. The air was so clear that you could see the dark side of the moon, too.
Then it got cold. The slush at the bottom froze into ice. My teeth started chattering riding up the lift. We decided to go into the lodge for hot cocoa. Oh, what a treat it was to go inside where it was warm, drink the almost-too-hot, chocolate-flavored glop from the dispenser machine, and sit by the fireplace! It made me think of making a perfume based on chocolate and wood smoke. I think the two would go together perfectly.
Once we were warmed up and back outside again, the slopes were nearly deserted, so we practically had the mountain to ourselves. The sky was black, with Venus shining in the west above the moon, and the stars all out. This time it didn’t seem so cold. As I dropped gently down the mountain, I had the feeling that there’s nothing closer to the feeling of complete and utter freedom than to be on the mountain at night, swish-swishing down a deserted ski slope, feeling like I’m flying above the snow, my breath perfectly coordinated with the wide turns, the stars overhead, and the freezing wind in my face.
We skied almost until closing time at 10:00. This complete break from reality was exactly what I needed before the academic quarter starts again on Monday. And I have an idea for yet another perfume.
[Upper two photos, from Wikimedia show typical snow scenes in the Cascades; third photo, from Wikimedia, shows Stevens Pass, the area where I usually ski. The bottom photo is from the Stevens Pass webcam, showing the base area. It's overcast today, so the nice blue sky isn't visible.]