The other day i got in my first day of downhill (and uphill) skiing of this season. Quite good snow conditions on the piste known as Pala de Montañeros above Puerto de Navacerrada, not officially “open” or “groomed” – some areas have only minimal coverage – but now that the snow has formed a hard crust it skis just fine. I wasn’t expecting great skiing, in fact i wasn’t sure if there would be enough snow to ski at all. But more than the skiing, the day was really beautiful..looking down from the first Alto de Guarramillas almost always produces sensations of sublimeness in me, and it certainly did the other afternoon. Back up for the third and last time..all alone once more..basking in the sunshine and silence..i was really getting off on it – “man, this is like..sublime” – when suddenly i heard shouts and squeals coming from the other side of the metal Virgen that crowns the summit rocks..and then three energumenic young people emerged into the evening light. One after the other they flopped down on to their asses and began to slide down the hard snow, squawking and yelping as they went, straight towards an area of exposed stones, tumbling over, jumping back on their feet, chortling to and laughing at each other and back down on their asses. Down the hill they went – ignoring my sternly censorial stare – amid screams of fear, howls of laughter, imprecations, assurances that this was so good that money couldn’t pay for it..one of the guys insisting that the others would have to sew up his anus if he hit a rock..the other repeatedly emptying cold granulated snow from the back of his low-waisted trousers..the girl – who was equipped with some kind of plastic tray to slide on – not getting left behind, indeed keeping well up with her male companions both in speed and decibels. Happy headless chickens. Having fun in the snow. Just like me, i guess.
So much for sublimity.