Saturday, April 5, 2014

Fit-Pic: My Happy Place...on Skis

Everyone has their happy place. The fantasy land Happy Gilmore imagined. Cruising the Queen K on a bike. Scuba diving off the gulf of Thailand--or maybe in Banff, which I didn't know was even an option until last fall.  Running the trails outside your house. Swimming in the open water of an ocean or lake.

It's the place that puts a smile on your face even when the conditions might not be optimum. It's the spot you want to go to again and again. It's where you plain and simple just feel happy.

Here's mine: Bolshoi Ballroom (or at least what I think is Bolshoi Ballroom if I'm reading the trail signs correctly) at Vail. Located in Siberia Bowl in Vail's Back Bowls, it's easily my go-to ski run.

I've lost count of how many times I've skied it. I ski it so many times a day the lifties at the poma lift recognize me. I don't think I've ever disliked a run I've taken back there--even when the wind is howling, the visibility is terrible and the pow is so chewed up I wonder why I ventured over in the first place. Unless the Back Bowls are closed, which luckily hasn't happened on a day I've skied Vail this season, I'm begging to go back there to check out the terrain.

The weird part is I'm not necessarily heading to Bolshoi to search for powder (though I'm usually not disappointed), I'm going to experience some bit of solitude on a busy mountain. And maybe it's the solitude, or maybe it's the skiing, but something back there always manages to reignite my brain's creative juices--and I'll never turn that down.

To get there: Ride the Orient Express lift (chair 21) to the top of China Bowl. Head right when getting off the lift and continue traversing across the ridge around the bend where you have the option to drop into the bowl or add some vertical by riding the Mongolia lift (chair 22 and a poma lift).

Where's your happy place? Where's that spot you just can't get enough of?

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