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An Ode To The Powdergasm

One snow lover’s testimony on why powder skiing is (and always will be) better than sex.

Warning: if you are my mother, please read no further.

The inch-long icicles hanging from my mustache couldn’t hide my smile. Back-to-back to back powder days will do that. It was only the beginning of February but it was already a historic winter in Colorado. The snow gods left the faucet wide open during the 2018/2019 season, and on this particular powder day the goods were great—feet not inches. My pal Seth and I caught first chair at Snowmass and slashed untracked depth on Sam’s before we made our way across the mountain. When we loaded the Sheer Bliss lift, I thanked the patrollers standing by the shack for getting the mountain ready for us. One of them cracked a grin and said, “We just opened the Wall.” Wide-eyed, I looked at Seth and screamed, “We’re about to have more fun than twelve hours of bedroom gymnastics!”

The Wall had been closed for two days. Ski Patrol had been so busy keeping up with snow mitigation on the main guts of the Snowmass trail system that the local-favorite Hanging Valley terrain had been put on the back burner. Forty-eight-hours worth of nonstop, pristine, untouched Colorado feathery snow was just waiting for Seth and me. We traversed from the top of the lift to the top of the headwall faster than Marty McFly gunned it back to ‘85. I lost Seth after my third wiggle in a dizzying slope of powder turn remains, sheets of snowy linens hanging in the air.

I spat out of the trees and into a solitary field. Maybe 25 yards directly below me sat my favorite terrain feature: a bulbous knob atop a gradually sloping convex roll, swollen fat with unaffected new snow. I let my skis run straight, picked up as much speed as I could before I was nearly on the white fold, let my tails wash out, dropped my hip, and leaned as deeply as I could into a right-footed slarve turn. Snow garden-hosed into my mustache and past my head. I was enveloped in the blissful slow motion joy explosion of a face shot. My entire being vibrated and became abuzz with the pulsing energy of the moment.

This exact instant and the barbaric yawps that follow—the pronouncement and announcement of extreme unbridled, unedited elation—are my favorite things in life. I love powder skiing above everything else. It’s better than free donuts and endless coffee refills, better than a golden-hour bike ride though aspens ablaze in Fall, better than “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.” And yes, it’s even better than sex. Because, hands down, powder skiing is the greatest thing of all the things in the history of things. Period.

Maybe you’re thinking that I am a loon. But let me ask you this, friend. When is the last time you had a post-coital hoop-n-holler-n-high-five session with a bunch of grinning, psyched-outta-their-minds strangers? I’d imagine never. But, guess what? It happens all the time at the bottom of chairlifts on a powder day. (Side note: If you answered that question with “pretty recently,” may I commend you on your sexual escapades but also offer a suggestion: Maybe it’s time to retire your zipper-mouthed leather mask, your riding crop, that Orgy of the Month membership and the industrial-sized bucket of Astroglide—and pick up a pair of powder skis.)

Listen, I’m not saying sex is not awesome. Sex is great. It’s wonderful. It has to be in the top five things to do while breathing. But skiing deep untracked snow delivers unmatched joy and incomparable energy. Immediately after sex, everyone involved needs a Gatorade, a ham sammich, and a nap (or at least I do). Immediately after skiing, everyone wants more skiing. Plus, when’s the last time you met up with your friends for 50-cent chicken wings and expounded on how gnar you just got in your bedroom? Ain’t nobody wanna hear about your nighttime double dipsy doodlin’ while gnawing on some Buffalo chicken, pal. But replace the hibbitty dibbitty with powder day reminiscing and that spicy poultry never tasted so good.

This is about priorities, my friend. If a supermodel…hell, if the woman of my dreams—if Kelly Kapowski herself (I’m pretty sure she’s the reason I am a heterosexual)—gave me the come-hither on a powder morn and told me that she wanted to spend the day toe curling in bed, I have no question how I’d respond. I’d look deep into her eyes as I cradled the nape of her neck, kiss her softly, and tell her I hope she’ll be around for après before swiftly snagging my ski boots and zipping out the door to my Subi.

I’ve directed and shifted my entire life for the pursuit of untracked snow. It has determined how I spend my free time, my career path, how I spend my money, where I live, who I spend my time with. And people understand that. Even non-skiers think it’s an admirable, albeit out-of-the-norm, life path to live in a small Colorado mountain town all for the sake of snow. But think about if I did the same for sex. Seriously, stop a sec and just think about it. Eeewie. I wouldn’t be considered a cool mountain hombre then. I’d just be a big weirdo.

On that fateful February powder day, Seth and I found one another at the base of Sheer Bliss and loaded the lift with two women, all four of us covered in snow and happiness. When our fellow powder fanatics heard Seth and me talk about skiing over sex, one woman nudged me and jabbed, “Really? Ya think so? Maybe you’re doing it wrong.” To which I laughed and responded, “Or maybe I’m doing one thing really right.” She couldn’t help but agree.

And if you still disagree with me, then I challenge you to prove me wrong. It is, of course, up to you to figure out how. Leather masks need not apply.

***NOTE: Yes, the writer is single.***

Paddy’s Favorite Powgasm Locales

Hokkaido, Japan—The “land of the rising uuuuuggggggghhhhhh” gasm.

Telluride, Colorado—The “steep, deep, technical, rough-n-rugged” gasm.

Silverton, Colorado—The “make you work for it” gasm

Aspen, Colorado—The “fancy” gasm

Anywhere With The Next Big Dump—The “here-and-now” gasm, the “anticipatory” gasm, the “mindfulness” gasm

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