Lets get the obvious out of the way: This ain't Colorado.
Spending a few years of adolescence on the front range near Denver, I learned to ski on the well groomed hardpack of Breck, Copper and Steamboat. Now over fifteen years in the rear view and punctuated by several skiless winters in the midwest, my second winter in Missoula has been teaching me a lot...principally that I don't know fluff about powder.
I don't have enough experience to delve into a discussion about the nuances of terrain and precipitation differences between the Rockies south of here that play baseball, or the ones out our back door that kicked my behind last week. All I know is that skinning is hard work, and perfecting great technique on powder is even harder when the snow is stiffer than freshly tenderized legs. Neither phenomena I had to deal with while finding a hard edge just off the lift in the Centennial State.
The cliche` of "earning one's turns" quickly solidified as gospel this week when I embarked on two backcountry trips with good friends to Lolo and Blue Point.
Below, you'll find a hastily thrown together video redux of those trips, with very little context or taste in modern music. Regardless, I consider this video a crowning achievement insomuch that I had the wherewithal to hit that little button on my tele-tubby costume after hours of the glorious butt-kicking in this, my uncompromising new home, Montana.