By Dave Bain
Photo: Andy Blair
Forecasts, work diary, forecasts, work diary. It is all I can look at with the storm approaching. One day is all I’ve got and the timing is on point. My mind goes to where to ride, where’s the wind been blowing and what’s the weather going to do. I dream big, I always do. My mind always goes to the western faces first. It’s my favourite place to ride by a country mile. As I pick up a mate we discuss just that. Not only are there so many epic lines, but it’s the space out there. Feels like you are actually in the mountains. And that’s just it, in the mountains. A tricky snow pack, some warm days and cold nights and now over a metre of wind blown snow on many of the lines. A voice in my head telling me it’s not on. About every twenty minutes we mention it again “what about this line” or “we could ride it like this”. Fantasize, dream, then safety, reality. The risk is too high, the reward not high enough. There is safe terrain also loaded with fresh just waiting to be slayed. The right call, the safe call is made. The western faces will still be there next time. We lap deep pow lines in the trees and mellower terrain from sun up to sun down. We hoot, we high five and our legs burn. In failing visibility late in the afternoon, two avalanches let go near us, we hear them, we spookily feel them. Stops us dead. We’re in safe terrain, it’s all good but we look at each other. Decision vindicated. The right call, the safe call and bucket loads of pow to boot.
Photo: Dave Bain
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