A boarder's paradise

I recall hurtling down the mountain almost vertically, the fear suddenly flushed away by adrenalin. Exhilaration and euphoria were my new companions.

This is the holy grail of boarding, I thought. Endless fields of virgin powder as far as the eye could see. Snow so deep and soft that you couldn't feel it below you. It feels as though you are hovering just above the ground. It's quite fantastic.

Every now and then we would stop, to traverse across flatter areas. These were higher risk avalanche areas with ridges above, so we were warned not to speak and to traverse one at a time to limit the possibility of the mountain collapsing on us.

It is amazing how your body and mind adjust to circumstances very quickly when put under pressure. It was only moments earlier that I was silently terrified. Now I was relaxed and I was enjoying haring down steep blankets of never ending snow.

We reached another high-risk avalanche area. This time though it was about a 1km in length to safety on the other side. With an overhanging ridge above to our right, respecting the mountain, we traversed across one at a time in silence.

There was drop to our left too but all fear had subsided, we were now invincible. The aim was to keep as high as possible and keep as quiet as possible and to meet at the other side.

I was the penultimate one and I was struggling to keep my speed up on my snowboard. Danny Robb the last in the group was behind me on skis, caught me up and as he went past gave me a friendly dig knocking me off my board.

This proved to be disastrous.

I had purchased a set of clip on bindings in Canada the week before so I detached my snowboard and started to walk. In the time it took to remove my snowboard and stand up, the others had regrouped and were waiting for me watching in disbelief as the mountain came down and I disappeared.

Read on...