It's mid-April and you have a good goggle tan. Thanks to the armor of skin provided by those dark days in January, your face doesn't get cold anymore. Your legs go top-to-bottom no problem. You know exactly where the rocks are, what speeds you need for certain jumps, and which runs get clogged by the tourists. Your ski posse is firmly established, and you know which friends have certain obligations--spouse, kid, busted transmission--that make up the rest of their lives.
In these dynamic days of spring, the ski season is no longer a promise, but a memory. The powder days of December seem like forever ago, because so much has happened since. The person on the season pass photo dangling from your neck is now older, wiser, a little more weathered. But as your DayGlo one-piece and ability to see lines around patches of dirt and sagebrush prove, your youthful spirit is still very much intact. And so on these warm days of spring, there's not much left to do but celebrate--and give tribute to life, good health, friends, tight pants, and how a beer tastes really good on a chairlift.
This past weekend marked the closing day for many ski areas around the country. The annual ritual provided good cause for pond skims, and epic tailgating sessions in the back lot. POWDER happened to be in Sun Valley, Idaho, the place of the magazine's birth over 40 years ago, to document some of the weirdness.
As the spring rolls on, these celebrations will continue to take place every weekend. Sounds like a good time to take a road trip.