Downing Mountain in the Bitterroot Mountains of Montana with Cassidy Randall

A Pair of Skis Saved My Soul

Posted on Posted in The M.U.P. Files

Downing Mountain in the Bitterroot Mountains of Montana with Cassidy Randall

May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.”  – Edward Abbey.

by: Cassidy Randall

(M.U.P. Files contributor)

I am shaped by sun and desert. I wonder that snow has found its way into my bones, into my dreams, the space behind my eyes. It has become my addiction, my religion.

I believe that a pair of skis saved my soul.

I am in the midst of a torrid love affair with our local ski hill, one that has not abated for the years under our belts.

Sweet ski powder turns in the Mission Mountain backcountry

But it’s the wild beauty of the backcountry that draws me back again and again – the seduction of an unbroken expanse of snow, the reliance on our knowledge and sometimes tenuous judgment, the faith in finding grace on an empty mountaintop.

Skiing in the ranges of the Rocky Mountains has taught me to appreciate my body for what it can do, and not for what it looks like – unless what it looks like is strong and ambitious. I’m in love with the humility of looking out across a sea of peaks, knowing that I could not possibly know all of them the way I have come to know the one I am standing on top of – because there are so many, because they have settled like wise old men into the cold winter, because they do not bow to the human need for access.

I am addicted to exhaustion. To aching lungs and a wandering mind. To the sound of nothing but my breathing, my skis breaking a new trail, and the quiet noise of snow falling. I am addicted to how damn hard this can be.

Sunlight on snow in mountains

I believe that skiing untouched snow is the closest I come to flying.

When the rush has opened up my body and mind, and washed them clean so entirely that joy and exhilaration is all that makes them new again – that is the feeling I dream of. For a sense of gratitude so strong that it lingers well into the night, into the next day, in my bones and dreams and the space behind my eyes.

I am graced by the moments after the rush.





Yurtopia backcountry ski hut in British Columbia

The M.U.P Files are the community corner of On the Horizon Line. These stories are written by our frie

nds and family who are exploring hometown horizons.  Why “M.U.P.?”  Because dispatches from the desks of our loved ones are like “magical unicorn ponies” that fly across the sea to greet us on distant shores.

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5 thoughts on “A Pair of Skis Saved My Soul

  1. girl, you are making me want to buy a new pair of skis. and then i want to take them out skiing with you. except for the fact that you kicked my a** when we went last time! beautiful post, my friend.

  2. I hear you, sister. This post gave me chills. I believe I was even recently quoted saying something borderline uber-hippie about skiing as a state of being or expression. Lord knows. Thanks for your writing. Look forward to ripping many turns with you in the future. I love you, Margi

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