At sunrise, just a few days ago, I snapped this photo of a ski track melting out of an alpine snowfield. It made me wonder about the skier who left it behind. Was it a committed ski bum, merely grabbing a quick training run before heading to Las Leñas for a winter of skiing in the Southern Hemisphere? Or was it some inspired weekend warrior who wanted to do something unusual to end their season?
Skiing is one of those things where one moment blends with the next, one day with the next, and one season with the next. Even powder days tend to blend with other powder days, but for some reason I find the last day of the season is often memorable.
A year ago it was a sunny day riding lifts in a ski area so deserted that I left my helmet behind - and avoided the trees - to let the rejuvenating mountain air tickle my ears.
A few years ago life got in the way and my last turns were on bulletproof moguls sometime in February. By July skiing seemed a sadly distant memory.
There was a dreamy season when my last turns stopped just 30 meters from a waiting helicopter after a thousand-meter heliski run at CMH.
A couple of seasons my last turns were long, tired arcs across Alaskan glaciers under the ghostly midnight glow of the Arctic summer during June climbing expeditions.
One year it was a long walk in the high country for the reward of ripping a few beautiful arcs in the middle of summer.
Where were YOUR most memorable last tracks?