Cannon. My favorite mountain. Yet, I have been such a stranger lately. Only five visits during the past two years? It could only mean that my discount strategies have expired. Even today, I refused to pay full price and opted for the half day ticket. Cannon is always good enough for me (even at its worst). But never good enough to pay full price.
Cannon is home. Seems like it always has been and always will be. Yet I’ve skied Jay more times. I have had season passes at Jay but never at Cannon. But Cannon is home and Jay isn’t. Jay has been quite good to me over the years. But it will never be in my blood. Jay is the smart play for reliable trees and powder but… well, there is always a but. Jay is to my mind as Cannon is to my heart.
Before skiing, I stopped by the repair shop for my once per year ski tune. For some reason, I thought I might need it today. It wasn’t my skis that needed the tune up but rather my head. My first turns were a sloppy skidding mess despite the tune and generally soft snow. I wasn’t forward enough, not enough angulation, my stance was too narrow. My mind wasn’t “in it”. I wasn’t going for it like it was yet another epic powder day *yawn*.
But after a few runs, I found some aggression. My hands clenched around my pole grips a bit tighter as I applied forward pressure to my boot tongues and laid an edge that stuck, propelling me forward into the next turn. Not effortless, not like I’ve become used to. But requiring mindfulness and attention, requiring effort and rewarding that effort appropriately. Cannon said “you’ve become soft, push a bit harder”. So I did. And it felt great.