Sorry for pasting the whole thing..but This bears is a
"SKIVT-L" classic...I just can't stop reading it....
Chris S.

<<       I read some news as I was preparing to leave for Smugglers on Sunday
 morning and immediately called my friend Lou. He wasn’t able to meet me up
 there, but regarding the real reason I called him; the outlook was good. So
 I headed up and had a very good day of exploring on my own- bagged a couple
 of new-to-me spots, just when I thought in my years at Smuggs I had seen it
 all. I was feeling all the way switched on like never before, but enough of
 that- this isn’t about Smugglers. This is about time travel.

      In 1994, I was taken by a couple of skiers to a marvelous place where
 here and only here, it was 1949. The clock had been rolled back at Mad River
 Glen with lift ticket prices set at three dollars and fifty cents. I
 followed two brothers and fellow Notch Heads Ladd & Lou down dizzying
 natural trails that were sometimes over my head. I pushed myself to keep
 pace with them on many black diamond runs filled with big moguls & trees. I
 was always doing that those days- those two guys were my skiing idols at the
 time. I made it my obsession to ski at their level. Following them around
 really improved my skiing and sparked a yearning for adventure that was soon
 to take off like wild fire. It was a landmark day for me as by the end of it
 I was skiing those big bumps and feeling really good doing it for the first
 time ever.

      We would have many great days of skiing together until Ladd tore his
 ACL in 1995. I still touched bases and skied with Lou now and again, but
 everybody sorta drifted with the passing of time. Ladd never really got back
 into skiing again, until recently. Still not like before- he used to get out
 fifty days a year compared to maybe 15(none with me) in the last two years

    So by now, you know where I’m going with this. Today (Tuesday 1/25/200)
 the three of us met in Ladd’s driveway for another glance back in time. It
 was just like old times when we packed our stuff into Lou’s van and got
 ready to leave. We checked for everything: Boots, poles and skis- check,
 check, check.

       And Flux Capacitor… fluxing.

     Just like years ago, we listened to Corm & the Coach on the way and
 laughed harder than necessary. Many ingredients were present to make
 everything very nostalgic. Somewhere in Richmond, we picked up Keith.

     A close friend of Lou, Keith is a hippy, trippy 40something with
 slightly receded long reddish hair, dark little sunglasses and a Yosemite
 Sam mustache above a smile that just won’t quit. He’s an upper intermediate
 that will go anywhere and never complain. He laughs and has a great time
 even while untangling himself in thick woods or pulling his head out of a
 snowbank. He’s still using the same skis he used for the last decade-
 Kniessel White Stars. Very cool looking skis- I think they rank right up
 there with Wesley’s Zebras.

     Lou is 36 or 37, but looks & acts more like a mature 18. He’s just as
 laid back and good natured as Keith only more than a foot shorter at no more
 than 5’2”.  An energetic little skier, he makes tons of quick little turns
 on his 170’s. He’s mellowed out some over the years, but still loves woods
 and finding fresh powder.

      I went to school with Ladd- he is 27 and used to be the most skilled
 and aggressive skier I knew. A true adventurer, he was constantly looking
 for something new and picking apart Smugglers Notch bit by bit, day by day.
 He showed me how to fully appreciate jumping off things in the deep woods.
 Little did he know what kind of freak he was creating. I used to ski with
 him more often than not, but times change. I was there when it happened. I
 helped him out of the Alley Chutes at Smugglers after a 10 foot drop gone
 bad. He tore up some cartilage too, basically wrecked his entire knee and
 altered the skiing future- both his and mine. Despite wincing in intense
 pain, he refused to let me alert ski patrol. Instead, when we got to the
 Mctrail, he skied down on one foot; stopping & flopping to the ground many
 times. I’ve never seen such a pained expression, and I’ve witnessed
 childbirth. His pain was more than just physical- he knew on the spot that
 skiing for him was FUBAR. It was a long, slow run & the last we would make
 together for several years.

      Lou had only been to MRG once, that day in 1994. Ladd’s been there
 twice and Keith was a never-ever.  It was the opposite of the past in that
 they were following me. We arrived in 1949 and the three of them bought
 their tickets for a grand total of $10.50. There were more cars than usual
 for a weekday, but still there wasn’t really a wait at all to get on the
 lifts all day.

       I assess the situation & try to be a good tour guide. I learn that
 Ladd has skied 7 days this season, Lou 12 and this is only Keith’s 2nd.  I
 figure Antelope will start things off right. Then Keith gets curious and
 asks how many days I’ve been out. They are all flabbergasted when I say:
 “Today makes 50.” (sinful # for a non-ski area employee, isn’t it?)

      On that first run, it becomes apparent that while it’s once again that
 same day in 1949, it’s a whole lot different than the first time we
 experienced it. Things & and people have changed over that ripple in time.
 They are now chasing and pushing to keep pace with me. They end up
 thoroughly impressed with the terrain I showed them during the day, and Ladd
 especially at how much I’ve improved. We skied Antelope, Paradise, New
 Frontier, various linked & nameless(to me) shots from the Double, Falldise,
 Catamount Bowl, Cantalope, Canyon, Fall Line,  parts of Gazelle and parts of
 a whole bunch more. I was saving the 20th for last, but at that time they
 were all completely worn & burnt out. Shoulda done it earlier. They sat in
 the bar while I made my last one count. Paradise Lost felt reeeeeaally good
 with a bit of new snow on top of the pre-existing soft n chewy.

      Before I sidestepped up past the patrol shack, I stopped and looked for
 a few seconds. I watched through hard falling snow at the empty single
 chairs as they rounded their not-quite-fluid loop around the wheel and back
 toward the bottom. There were no other sounds or other people around as I
 observed chair after chair shake a little as they each passed through the
 tressels with a rattle. Another classic image that I wanted to save. This is
 Mad River Glen; then, now and forever.


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