It's more than deep powder that makes me happy to be a skier

I met T.M. Faversham at a bar in Telluride in 2006. He was a local ski bum and carpenter, and I needed a place to crash. I'd just spent two weeks hitchhiking 300 miles from Breckenridge, sleeping on floors and hostels while skiing at every resort along the way. When I arrived in Telluride, a friend who used to live there gave me T.M.'s phone number and said he might be able to help. It was T.M.'s roommate who answered the phone, and the conversation went something like this: "Hi, my name is Matt. You don't know me, and neither does T.M., but can I sleep on your floor?"

Solilochairliftquist A short film by T.M. Faversham

Despite the awkwardness, T.M. agreed to meet me at the bar, probably to make sure I wasn't as crazy as I sounded on the phone. But being a skier, he clearly understood my situation. About a year earlier, T.M. had created a short film about what goes through a skier's head on the way up the chairlift. He called it "Solilochairliftquist." It was simple and poetic and funny and brilliant, and spoke to the heart of anyone who has ever given it a go as a ski bum. I had seen the film but it would be another year or so before it gained real popularity. It is now a classic.

T.M. and I hit it off and I ended up crashing on his floor for the next four days. It was my first time to Telluride, and he and his roommate, John, were kind enough to not just lend me shelter, but to show me around Bear Creek and vouch for me at the Lizard Lounge, the Telluride Ski Patrol's speak-easy. A former patroller at Telluride, John had just moved back to town after spending 10 years on Wall Street. His enthusiasm for being back in the mountains was infectious. Adding to my luck was that even though it was late March, we skied soft powder snow under deep blue skies.

After the trip, I kept in touch with T.M. and John for a little while, but those relationships eventually faded. But I still take time to watch "Solilochairliftquist" every once in a while. It always reminds me of that trip. And it always makes me happy to be a skier.