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Fall semester 2011

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  1. 1. Hyde 1Ashley HydeJessica FrogleyEnglish 201010, December, 2011Memoir Just One Time I remember being nineteen, like it was yesterday. The days when snowboarding wasmore of a lifestyle to me then a hobby. There were many people here that I have met that movedto Utah and worked two jobs to afford the “lifestyle”. Just to get the opportunity to ride thesnow, “the greatest snow on earth” Utahans are so fortunate to have for the nine months out ofthe year. For me it was an escape from reality, and the inversion down in valley that I gazedupon while on the chair lift. When I stood on the top of the mountain in snow up to my thighs,gazing into a small bowl of untouched powdered snow. Time seemed to stand still, everything inmy life seemed to make sense in my life at that one moment. Two friends, Errol and Skylar, and I got on the Great Western lift at Brighton Ski Resort.I noticed that the flakes that fell were as large as cotton balls as they gracefully soared throughthe air. As I gazed across the mountain rage there was little visibility, I could hardly see thechairs in front of us. When it snowed that hard I found myself sweating from all the strenuousriding in the deep heavy powder. I dressed myself in the usual layers, on top I had my new puffy jacket, two shirts one longsleeve, one short. A scarf, my black beanie and triple layered on the pants just in case I got snowin my but. I noticed that the chair exit was coming soon so I hurried and changed the music
  2. 2. Hyde 2playing on my ipod to something more upbeat to sing along with, Michael Franti “ I have to havethe right tunes on a day like today”. I said to myself as I adjusted my scarf back before we gotoff the chair. With one foot strapped into my snowboard, and the other stood firm in between mybindings. The three of us got off the chair all at once, I always laughed at this part it always lookslike a shit show. We congregated for a few minutes up top to discussed where we would beheading for the first run. On this kind of beautiful powder day it did not matter where we weregoing. I just wanted to get going. We started our descent down the mountain. The snow felt light and granular like sugar.The three of us stooped into the tree line that we had followed on the left. The three of us beganto zigzag in-between the tight trees like Jedis, fast and on Queue. Each of us were yelling out inburst of excitement as we pass by each other. We came to the bottom of the trees into an areacalled Hidden Canyon that contained a small bowl of snow. We were amazed that there was notracks from other riders. As the Sun shined over the high Wasatch Range, we looked at each other withamazement, “like sugar it is so sweet” I said to the boys. As we looked around we noticed thatthere was a small cliff located on the lower left side of the bowl. We were ecstatic with theamazing natural feature we had come across on such a great powder day. Everything seemed tobe going our way. We had decided to hike the cliff a few times before we made our way down tothe bottom to the chair life. The three of us unstrapped and made our way over to the cliff. Withme being unstrapped I decided to check the landing. Making sure that there was enough roomfor us to clear the cliff and land in different spots safely. Not wanting to land too far out into the
  3. 3. Hyde 3bowl and disrupt the layers of snow. Safety was always a topic but it not something you thinkabout when you are nineteen. I began to hike back up towards the boys at the top of the cliff. It was a difficult thing todo. The snow was thigh deep and with me being 5’3 maneuvering in it with out a snowboardstrapped on was not easy. I got back to the top of the cliff where the boys were sitting andwaiting for me while I strapped my board back on. My heart felt heavy, I could feel my bodysweating from the hike. My breaths were short and heavy, I could tell I was anxious. The three of us discussed who was going first. Errol expressed his interest, I said “go getit dude I still can not catch my breath,” “sweet” Errol says and he shuffled him self into a take offposition. Seconds after that he shoots his body off the cliff, shouting with excitement as hetossed his body in a 360 degree turn while grabbing the middle of his snowboard. He landed andwave of snow flew from under him. I remember looking down the mountain and he was coveredwith snow from head to toe. He had a huge grin on his face. Next was Skylar, after we checked to make sure Errol was out of the way, it was clearSkylar was already in the air. Tossing his body in a 180 degree and landing much further thenErrol. I thought that Skylar always made jumping off a twenty foot cliff look so easy back then.I gazed down at the both of them and at that moment I knew how lucky we were. I had an instant flash back of a few months before. I though of two of our friends Atilioand Jerry and I felt sick. The two boys that were not so lucky on a perfect day that seemed to bejust like today. They boys had been riding all day at Brighton Resort in an area near here. Atilioand Jerry took the Crest lift then exited through the back of the ski boundary area and out thegate. They stood over a bowl a bit larger then this one. A cornice broke beneath them, causing a
  4. 4. Hyde 4sizable avalanche of fifty feet wide and six feet deep. Jerry somehow managed to maneuver hisboard into the top of the mountain so he was not pulled down. Unfortunately Atilio was swipeddown the slope and into the slide. Atilio died that day of suffocation, while Jerry managed tosurvive. Neither of the boys were wearing the proper safety gear; a shovel, beacon and probe tohelp the situation. No one can say for sure, shit happened right? Maybe Atilio would havesurvived if the proper gear was worn. Thoughts like that made me shake and feel uneasy. Having the thoughts of “what the hellam I doing out here.” Then I heard “Ashley, what the hell are you waiting for just jump allready,” Errol yelled from below. I smiled and snapped out of it. I realized that shit happens wejust have to make the best of it. I returned my head back into the conscious thought of what I am doing at that moment.With my heart beginning to race even harder in my chest. So hard I could even feel it in myhands. I slid down the hill towards the cliff, thinking to my self no backing out now. As ajumped I remember yelling something along the lines of “pow-pow” and landed short of theboys. We all shouted again with excitement. The tree of us laughed about how covered in snowwe from the leap. As we unstrapped to hike up once again I turned and asked Errol and Skylar,“do you guys ever think of Atilio and Jerry when you do this type of riding out of bounds?” “YesI do” Errol stated, “ I just cannot let it keep me from doing the thing I love to do more thananything in the world” “even if you die Errol” I asked? “Yup” he said. “Shit happens Ashley,we just gotta go with it.”