Skiing - - Focus - By Rob Story

THANKS TO SO­CIAL ME­DIA, BIL­LIONS NOW be­lieve in an ut­ter false­hood: that you and I give a crap about them. We don’t, no mat­ter how many times they post GoPro footage of cat tracks.

Judg­ing by the num­ber of cretins-with-cam­era-mounts I blew past last sea­son, ski­ing (like so­ci­ety in gen­eral) suf­fers a hope­less epi­demic of self-con­grat­u­la­tion. Ev­ery­where we turn, our sport rips its col­lec­tive anorak to pat its own back. En­ti­ties “win” ti­tles for such pe­cu­liar­i­ties as “Best MixedSnow Ski” or “Best New Ski Chalet.” The in­dus­try hands awards for Jib of the Year, or to a state’s finest snow­maker. Sad but true: In a sport that hum­bles and even kills, mod­esty as we know it may soon cease to ex­ist.

I guess, then, there’s no sense keep­ing my own great­ness to my­self any­more. Ergo, I pro­claim that your hum­ble au­thor, Rob Fuck­ing Story, on Jan­uary 10 did ex­e­cute and per­form the sin­gle best ski turn of 2014. That’s right. Hear me now and lis­ten to me later: I achieved rare and spe­cial ex­cel­lence whilst rip­ping a Tel­luride slope called Mil­lions.

(Oh, I’m not claim­ing Run of the Year or any­thing of the sort; one re­quires a foot or more of fresh for le­git­i­mate ROY con­sid­er­a­tion. Tel­luride recorded but six inches that day ... yet 14 loaded in pillows among the trees. And that’s where I threw down like James Brown.)

You should have seen me. For one shin­ing mo­ment, I was bold, flaw­less, and beau­ti­ful—words that haven’t al­ways de­scribed my glade ski­ing. A blue-spruce col­li­sion once sent me to the ER. Way­ward branches have bur­gled my hat, gog­gles, and even an avy shovel. As a re­sult, I tend to over­turn in trees, wal­low­ing to a halt in sug­ary wells.

Not this time. Float­ing on 115-mil­lime­ter-waisted boards, I ap­proached that Mil­lions tree with speed and au­thor­ity. Ten feet away, I pres­sured my left ski—in­flu­enc­ing the be­je­sus out of the en­su­ing arc. Curv­ing left to right around the conifer in ques­tion, I ex­tended an aes­thetic pole plant. My arm barely brushed a branch, re­leas­ing a gen­tle cur­tain of vir­gin white. Round­ing through the turn’s apex, more snow fanned out from my tails, mist­ing up in ex­quis­ite con­trails of my own awesomeness.

Your envy is ap­pro­pri­ate. Ex­alt me in the man­ner of your choos­ing.

Skiers of­ten talk about the best day of the sea­son and don’t need much per­sua­sion to get fur­ther mi­cro and de­ter­mine the finest run. But a win­ter’s best turn? Given that we zig a thou­sand zags be­fore lunch, it’s tough to call out just one; rare to rec­og­nize a half-sec­ond of pure per­fec­tion. I’m glad this hap­pened to me ... and not you.

Ac­cord­ing to es­ti­mates, our planet holds as many as 115 mil­lion skiers. And last Jan­uary, I tri­umphed over all y’all. I coiled into what was Ab­so­lutely, With­out Peer, the Finest, Pret­ti­est, Bestest Ski Turn of 2014.

And no, I’m not watch­ing your GoPro footy to make sure.

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