I visited my brother January, 2016 who lives and works in Keystone Colorado. On our Vail ski day, we dabbled in a little backcountry skiing. We passed through the gaits to hunt for the freshest snow on the mountain.
What we found was a band of cliffs with no easy route of escape. I peered over the edge of a twenty foot drop and looked at my brother. We started discussing whether we should take our skis off and walk the other way.
All of a sudden, a lone skier came near us. He wore dreadlocks and smelled like weed and we hoped he knew the safest way down. Well, it turns out he did. “Just go off the cliff bro.”
“It’s only 20-30 feet into a foot of powder.”
He saw the fear in both of our faces.
“When my father took me when I was younger, he would say, throw off your skis, take a running start, jump and when you land on your back there will be nothing to worry about.”
For some reason it seemed like the right piece of advise I needed. I didn’t throw off my skis, but I backed up, thrusted forward to the cliff and jumped.
I did not come close to landing, but it was the softest wipe-out I could ever imagine.
Here are some other photos from the ski trip: