POWDER VIDEO AWARDS VIP WINNER
Skiing Powder And Rubbing Elbows With The Stars
By Kelsey Hoult
Looking down at the huge snow covered peaks of the Rockies from my airplane window it was all starting to feel real. Just one week prior I was loading up my truck in the pouring rain to chase a storm system pushing into Lake Tahoe. As I was checking the weather and road conditions on my way out the door I received an email from Jonny at Powder: "We’ve selected you and a friend of your choice as the winner for the VIP trip to the 2010 Powder Video Awards in Aspen."
The little plane bumped up and down in the turbulence and the storm that was exiting looked like it had left things pretty fresh. We stepped off the plane and soon discovered that the lodging Natasha from Aspen Snowmass had set up for us was beyond our highest expectations. The distinguished yet cozy B&B featured deluxe rooms, complimentary breakfasts cooked to order and a bar tender who would bring us drinks as we soaked in the hot tub.
After getting our boots adjusted to premium demo skis courtesy of Powder, we hopped on the downtown gondola. As we approached the top of Aspen Mountain, one of the locals riding up with us pointed across the valley to the stunning 12,392 ft. Highland bowl and made some noise about rushing over there before it was had. That was all we needed to hear, and after a few fast laps we were on the bus to Aspen Highlands.
From the top of the chairlift I could see untracked powder and within five minutes we were hiking up the ridge, marveling at our luck and the beauty of the Maroon Bells. From the first turn, the sloughing light density snow and the continuously steep open terrain provided us with some of the finest skiing anywhere. That night, we checked out the excitement of the Winter X Games and witnessed Bobby Brown and the rest of the skier big air guys throwing down the most impressive display of park skiing prowess.
After another great day of skiing up at Snowmass we enjoyed a crimson sunset from the roof top hot tub before getting ready for the night's big show. Walking into the Hotel Jerome for the Powder Video Awards was like stepping into an issue of Powder Magazine. Every skier I've seen gracing the pages was there in person double fisting drinks. The energy in the building as the talented group of the world best skiers mingled and talked about upcoming trips, deep days and the winter so far was almost overwhelming.
The show began with a stunning tribute to Shane McConkey followed by cheering and a heart felt standing ovation. The room was so loud that only Warren Miller himself, who gave one of the most inspiring speeches I have ever heard, could get things back under control before the awards began. The videos were unbelievable, the drinks were free and the evening was flat out insane. We talked big mountain skiing with Sage, toasted Tanner, chilled with Davenport and met the awesome staff at Powder.
Winning this trip was a dream come true and has made me feel even closer to the sport I love most. Thank you Powder and Aspen Snowmass for an amazing experience that we will remember for the rest of our lives!