Some days in the mountains are very very good. Last Monday (Feb 11) was such a day. Furious winds raged around El Alto del Telégrafo, a small peak above the Navacerrada Pass which is crowned by a metal statue of La Virgen de las Nieves..
..but just off the ridge to the North among the pines of Valsaín all was calm and the forest was full of snow..up to a foot of fresh powder on top of a good base of older compact snow.
The curious thing was that, despite being quite close to the piste known as “El Bosque” and being crossed by the popular Camino Schmid, i only saw a couple of people in the area all afternoon. And on the slopes that i skied i encountered practically no tracks other than my own..
Peaceful perfect powder.. it’s hard to describe the utter bliss of skiing in such conditions. This rare, almost miraculous conjunction of circumstances even conduces to perhaps hallucinatory thoughts like.. is it possible that God made the mountains..just for me?(!)
Some might say this is pure megalomania or even blasphemy.. but, as i was skinning back up towards La Virgen one last time, the sun began to filter thru the clouds..and thru the pines..onto the snow.. divinity spoke to me in light..
PS: A powder spree indeed.. but what exactly is a spree? English dictionaries will tell us that it is some kind of overindulgence, usually with more or less negative connotations (shopping spree, drinking spree, etc) and offer us what i think is dodgy Scottish or Latin etymology. The word surely derives from Irish Gaelic spraoi, pronounced [ʃpri:] and meaning simply fun, lots of fun.