|Tyler scoring some just-opened action|
The next day we went back to the Ghee, but I'd forgotten how to ski. I'd lost that ephemeral je ne sais quoi and the snow, so smooth and rewarding on Friday, was haggard by Saturday. But we hiked to some of the resort's traffic-free sweet spots and rode with a rotating cast of friends through the day and ate Wydaho nachos at the Trap and it was fine. Not every day can be the best day of the season.
That night was the GTBC holiday party. The brewery employees and their partners are all awesome people that like spending time together outside of work, on the trails, in the snow, or at the bar, so the party was devoid of those stilted conversations between ensnared work acquaintances. I sat with a bunch of friends, enjoying the familiarity of the staff trivia quiz and the belly laughs of the white elephant gift-giving, as well as the exquisite lamb and on-point beer pairings (thanks as usual to Max the cicerone). The raucous after-party gravitated to the closest employee's house and so of course Sunday morning was a slow-moving endeavor.
Knowing all ski options were dubious, we opted to tour Oliver Peak, five minutes from the house and better known as the Valley's own personal hill (no J-holes allowed). The snow quality was sub-par as anticipated and the springlike temps warranted bare skin, but higher up the outlook was rosier; the snowpack was deep and stable and the surrounding bowls and glades and gullies were enticing and untouched.
|A lifetime's worth of backcountry opportunities|