Out of sorts on the Ides of March

March has us jangled and out of sorts.  One could easily write off the whole month as nothing seemed to go as planned but our predicament certainly wasn’t for lack of trying.

 The path leads through Zurich

Train stations still retain the necessary grist for travel.  Zurich’s Hauptbahnhof would seem an ideal place to light out for a run into the Austrian Alps.   Board, ski quivers and Patagonia Black Hole Bags  engulf our compartment.  We try to shake the transatlantic crossing from our heads and sit back, drinks in hand, and watch the Alps begin to slip into focus.

Weather reports are shaky and we crane our necks as the Alps enclose and circle us.  We have come to the Arlberg region looking for powder but the skies look shockingly blue.  Sadly (never though that complaints would come about never ending blue bird days) this was to be the norm as a high pressure system settled in over the massif for the duration.

James Bond Zurs
tram with a view St Anton
Lech and a stroll to the tram

In many ways the warm weather is a welcome respite.  The itch to drop into skinny couloirs and skin to far off cirques is brushed aside  as nothing comes into shape.  Instead,  late starts, leisurely breakfasts with the FT, long piste runs and early afternoons catching the sun at slopeside tables are the norm.   The local schnapps is both delicate and brutal.  We find ourselves at high huts eating amazing cheeses and charcuteries whilst feeling the sun on our face and wondering where to eat next. The pistes in Zurs are pure cordurouy, it seems the Russians that frequent the town can’t be bothered to disturb even the groomers. Massive GS turns are the order of the day and we rack up high speed miles.

tracked out in Lech
pear schnapps + energy bars
A lunch line with Schnapps on the way to Zug
timeless on the way to Stuben
awaiting the boozy and sun tinged masses Lech

After 10 days of waiting for non happening powder bombs we have worn out the piste runs of the valleys and yearn for something more.  We are tanned, heavy from drink and food, and weary of the waiting for the perfect weather system.  We pull the plug, say Aufwiedersehen to our Austrian friends and head back stateside where we have been jealously eyeing reports of massive quantities of the white stuff that just don’t seem to stop.

Black Crows Sevun’s- looking for something deeper
In Utah
A few time zones later and we are grinning ear to ear as the only sound is our breathing and the soft thud of Utah snow.  The cannons have been hammering away all morning and while less than stable, the snowpack is deep.  Donning Ortovox’s we find our groove in a back corner of the smallish Jupiter Bowl.  The lone wobbly chair gives us all the slow access we need to pockets and chutes hidden within the trees. There are whoops of delight hidden in the evergreens as other voyagers find their lines and react accordingly.
redemption in white
We have two days to take full advantage of the opportunities laid at our boots.  Blistered feet and thrashed muscles are swept aside as we make up for lost time with more fresh turns than we can count.  Sleep comes so fast and so hard at days end that coupled with jet lag we exist in a snowy and billowing somnambulistic state.
Turns on Cardiac
Jones stick of choice

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