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Snowstorm Road Trip
Putting the Pedal to the Metal for Freshies

The 'burban
How disconcerting to leave snow in search of snow. A windsurfing friend of mine told me once, "Never leave wind looking for wind." This adage has proved true so many times for me on ski trips, but in this instance we decided to ignore the philosophy.

We packed an 8'x12' trailer, late at night, preparing to roadtrip north to Whistler, a land with much snow and massive vert. We hooked the trailer up to my friend Oak's '99 Suburban and headed out of town for what was meant to be a 24 hour drive. The fact that we were looking out the window at a blinding snowstorm did not seem overly important - besides the skiable snow we were leaving behind.

"After the scariest, stinkiest, longest 32 hours behind the wheel any of us had ever gone through, we arrived in snow covered Whistler...."

It was decided that we would drive straight through - two sleeping in the back and two driving (with all of the gear in the trailer, the Burban was spacious). Andy Love decided he was such a bad driver he was not going to be able to drive at all. After he told us about the two accidents he had been in the last month, we all agreed he should sleep and stay away from the wheel.

It was up to Dak, Oak, and myself to drive eight hours apiece. I was so beat, I slept for the first five hours and then was woken by an exhausted and frazzled Dak, who claimed he had just done the worst stint of driving he had ever experienced. As soon as the snow stopped, he said, the skies turned to pea-soup fog. He had been travelling at 40mph and we were only half way to Salt Lake. I proceeded to drive in what would become one of my worst driving experiences ever, as well. Driving a Suburban with a trailer behind it through what looks like what the "Enterprise" sees as it switches to warp speed, is far from fun.

Swany in his PJs
After the scariest, stinkiest, longest 32 hours behind the wheel any of us had ever gone through, we arrived in snow covered Whistler. All of a sudden it was all worth it. We awoke the next morning (after three hours of sleep in a real bed) to 8" of new snow, deeper where it was blown in. A glorious day that proved to be just the beginning.

It snowed another 10" last night and the skiing today was killer. It took the patrol a while to get the upper mountain open, but when they did I had some of my best turns of the year. We are looking at storm after storm for the next few days and the skiing should continue to be a blast.

Dave Swanwick, MountainZone.com Correspondent


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