Pow-Day Panic is a feeling of anxiety that accompanies a heavy snowfall in a resort region. The Panic feeds off the fear that all powder will be skied out before you get to it.
Pow Day shenanigans at Whistler Blackcomb.
What causes the Panic? Fresh snow is just so easy to carve up. And in a crowded world, too many others want to do just that – before you can do the same. It is a race that begins at sunrise and ends when the slope is schralped. The loser must then descend shamefacedly through stale leftovers.
Why the Panic? Shredding a slope of fresh snow, your speed dampened by its near-weightless volume, is a giddy surrender like no other. New snow is so endlessly forgiving, so effortlessly sculptable. And so ephemeral – it will be gone by the afternoon, selfishly shredded by skiers and boarders out for nothing but their own pleasure and fulfillment. Skiers and boarders just like you.
The Panic in full force at Blue Mountain.
Can you master the Panic? Even if you’re up early on a weekday and in the queue before the lift opens, others probably will be, too. So instead of fighting for a piece of powder, simply share and honour the untracked freshness with these fellow devotees. At least for an hour or so, you’ll have the slope to yourselves.
There’s one reassuring fact about snow: it will always fall again, and cover up yesterday’s wounds.
Major-league Pow Day at Eagle Pass Heliskiing.