All Time: From Blackout to the White Room

Because friends don’t let friends miss powder days

One shot the author didn't regret the next day. PHOTO: NICK LANGELOTTI

The best day of my season should have never happened. While a storm spilled her guts up at Mount Baker, the clock had struck St. Patrick's Day in Seattle. I had been watching the weather with my friend Nick, and we decided to make a go of it the following day despite the holiday. He had found a condo to crash at in Glacier and would pick me up in Seatown after finishing his day at Crystal Mountain—I just needed to be ready and packed.

I was fully prepared to forgo celebrating my second favorite holiday, but at two in the afternoon I caved. The sun had come out and another friend urged me to join his group for a celebratory pint. With Nick coming at four, it didn't seem like I could do much damage in two hours. I met up with the bar-hoppers and sipped a beer while they pounded Irish Car Bombs.

My phone vibrated—Nick. Dude, looking more like 5.

The crew was moving on to another Irish spot, so I tagged along. Two beers later, my phone vibrated again. 6:30, sorry.

And so the pattern went. A text from Nick pushing back his arrival time, followed by another bar and another drink.

Finally at 9:30 I got, 10 minutes out, you ready? Discussing experimental energy supplements with a 35-year old lingerie model over a whiskey ginger, I was neither ready, nor packed—I was drunk.

I ran two blocks to my apartment and tried to pack under the influence. When Nick showed up, I threw my ski gear in the car, then sprinted back into the house three more times to grab more stuff until I accidentally locked myself out.

The 3-hour drive to Baker was a blur of singing, sloppy Facetiming, and nonsensical ranting. Somehow Nick rolled with it, getting us to Glacier just after midnight. He made some pasta, told me to drink water, and put me to bed.

I woke up the next day to snow in Glacier, a good sign for any day at Baker. Nick and I didn't talk about the night before, silently finishing up leftover pasta and suiting up. I quickly discovered I hadn't packed ski socks or any base layers for my legs, but it seemed a small price to pay after the previous night's antics.

We unloaded Chair 6 to 36 inches of fresh. Dipping into the old growth forest, the only sound we heard was snow thwapping our chests. From the corner of my eye I watched Nick slash a turn that sent snow overhead and realized how glad I was that he had dragged his blacked-out buddy to the mountain for an epic powder day.

I guess that's what friends are for.