November 11, 2012. It’s Sunday. It’s Veterans Day. And it is the first skiing day of the season! Jonathan, Moiwa and I decided after two solid days of rain and cold temperatures in town, we would check out what the mountains had accumulated. We drove up to Coal Bank Pass and were very impressed with the 12″ of snow accumulated there. We continued north, past the small, sleepy town of Silverton, to the top of Red Mountain Pass. Success! The snow meter reported 15″ of fresh snow. The storm had brought lots of wind, which stripped some places clean of snow, but deposited as much as three feet in others. The consistency was like spongy foam, which helped cover up the rocky ground. We began our skin up an old 4X4 road, and discovered that below in the trees had significantly more snow than above treeline, where the wind had done it’s work. So we stopped ascending and opted to drop in and test the waters, per say. We discovered it was ski-able, if only just. We got back to the road, and decided to try another trusty spot called “Oh Boy!”. Even just skinning around on the snow covered mountain enjoying the cool, crisp air, was exhilarating. We tread carefully, because the more we observed, the more we saw the wind affect had made the snow extremely unstable. At the top of our run, we prepared to ski lightly and turn softly. Jonathan dropped in first and took two small turns, but then let it loose, gaining speed and skiing with more mid season style. From his whoops and hollers, I knew we had found the jack pot. When he was safely off to the side, I dropped in next and was happily surprised with the feelings I had missed since last winter. Getting to the bottom, we were both giddy with delight, and decided to skin back up and do it all over again. After three laps, we certainly hadn’t had our fill, but it was cold and Moiwa’s paws were suffering, so we headed back to the car. We had been the first to arrive at the top of the pass, but now the parking lot was full, and we smiled to ourselves. We had gotten those first tracks, the first tracks of the season!