Wednesday, April 30, 2008

"I do it for the joy, because I am a joyful girl"

I know.... I promised everyone i would be updating this while i was in Alaska. My first day in Girdwood/Alyeska was so overwhelming i couldnt get it all written out while i was perched over the laptop in the corner of the Sitzmark trying to concentrate over the music. I had started writing about how beautiful the sunset was, and how the golden "hour" lasted for many many hours, alpen glow until about 10pm on these giant intense mountains. I went from overwhelmed in the morning to, getting comfortable in these new surroundings and loving it. The next day dawned bright with an exploratory road trip into Anchorage for some extra camera gear followed by a hike up Center Ridge where the other photogs had already dug in, (where i also had the pleasure of meeting photographer Johnathan Selkowitz). But this day ended with a teary eyed sunset and the passing of skier John Nicolleta. After that, skiing and shooting was just "going through the motions" and being in Alaska didn't seem right. Shooting competitions didn't seem right. Being stoked on competitions didn't seem right. And being stoked on any skiing was hard to say the least. We went for a couple short road trips. And went for a couple tours off Turnagain Pass. Mellow tours to be sure. I wanted so bad to be happy about being in Alaska, but my head just wouldn't allow it. It was the first time I was ever relieved to leave some place so amazing, which is such an odd paradox to experience. Under ordinary circumstances I would have been perpetually stoked out of my gourd and then really sad when it came time to go home.

After leaving Alaska I stopped in WA for a short visit before returning back to Salt Lake. Since it is still full on winter up there, we had a fun stormy pow day at Mt Baker. Looking back it was a great day, but at the time, it was still so hard to be stoked on skiing. I have since returned to the comforts of home, spent a lot more time thinking about what exactly we do in the mountains, why we do it, how we go about it, how we should or not do certain things, have talked about it with close friends, and have been slowing re-learning to love the mountains. Slowly remembering what drew me here in the first place. Slowly allowing myself to enjoy them again for their solitude, for their sunshine, for their liberation, for their independence, for their challenge, for their friendship, and friendships created because of them.