November 2014 3
Without fail, it happens every year. Temperatures drop, snow falls, lifts start spinning, boots click into bindings, and everybody starts grinning. Everybody is excited for the return of winter, so that we can all go do what we love most. As anybody will agree, skiing is fun.
I didn t realize how magical skiing was until I started paragliding. Being lucky enough to learn how to ski before I could read, it was just something to get really excited about every year. Learning to fly changed this perspective entirely.
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Snowbird Photoshoot 1
Skier: Ben White. Photo by: Matt Crawley[/caption]
The feeling of taking off, soaring up high, and seeing birds flying next to you is pretty fantastic. However, flying close to the ground and following the contour of the land in an entirely fluid motion is equally amazing. Skiing is exactly that.
For hundreds of years, people have looked to the sky and wanted to fly like birds. Soaring high above and having the freedom to move are two very inviting prospects. Freshly fallen snow at Teton Pass typically is 7 percent density. The other 93 percent is air. The math works out; deep powder is flying. Anybody who has skied over-the-head powder knows that it s magic.
The dream of flight has been realized for longer than we thought. We ve just been too busy high-fiving at the end of the day or searching for more parts of the mountain that are 93 percent air so that we can continue to fly. For creatures that are so well suited for the land, I think we do a pretty good job of taking flight. Ben White
Flylow ambassador Ben White, who originally hails from Massachusetts and once skied all 48 4,000-foot peaks in New Hampshire, currently lives and skis in Utah.