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Powder to the Night People: Reflections from Snowmass

Jamie Lynn Miller's picture

Powder day correspondence becomes a scorecard of one-upmanship: who got out; who got more, where. “Jeremy got to the office and realized he left his ski pants at home” states one particularly discouraging Facebook status update. Text beeps volley off snow conditions: “Waist deep on Shoulder! Yee Haw!” from Bell Mountain at Ajax, at 10:32 AM. “Chin deep in the Wall!!! Still! But hey, I’m short  ” from Wall 2 in Snowmass, at 1:17PM.

Snowmass, bringing Powder to the Night People.

Ski Snowmass at 1:17PM on a powder day, you can still be snorkeling in a sea of soft, soft snow, well past the start of most family fun runs and Canine uphills and breakfast buffets. You can still get still get heaps and heaps of fresh, masses of it, as the name suggests. Because some of Snowmass’ most impressive, vast and endlessly powder-filled terrain may not even open up till mid-morning, mid-morning by anyone’s standards.

Powder day or no, Snowmass may be the only mountain that officially rewards you for sleeping in: because for those who missed the fresh corduroy in the morning, there’s the Noon Groomer. Some say it’s an urban myth, suburban lore; Snowmass drops the rope on fresh corduroy, one untouched-by-skis-but-stroked-by-machinery run, around high noon. As of press time, the author has never actually skied the noon groomer herself, but its sweet ridges and carvability are legendary and with relatively benign names like Coffee Pot and Naked Lady (OK, Coffee Pot) the Noon Groomer sounds like a great reason to sleep in.

So, as long as we’re handing out prizes for dawdling- how about the Noon Powder run? You’d have to prove you haven’t skied off any other powder stash all morning; jacket must be clear of ice crystals, beards devoid of lingering traces of face shots, maybe your boss calls in to say you just came from work, or you have to show the wristband from the club you went to last night before you missed the last bus and didn’t get to bed till 3 and…and then you get to ski the freshest line imaginable, which has been sitting, waiting, till you’ve had your coffee and taken your sweet time getting to the hill. And the run’s called something like Wine Bottle. Or LNM (late night munchies). Laz-y-az Lane.