We reach the top just as true darkness sets in. Headlamps on full brightness, skins off, boots buckled up; we’re in downhill mode. Before dropping in, he takes a look at the seemingly never-ending silhouette of mountains that stood in front of him. The skiing is surprisingly fun, but not due to epic snow quality, but rather the experience of skiing in the dark and having to adjust to snow conditions that seem to change at every turn. It quickly becomes apparent that any snow that was touched by the sun during the day was now refrozen crust, particularly demanding to ski, but the few pockets that were spared in the shadow remained very enjoyable.
Not seeing further than the dim light of the headlamp, the ski to the valley seems much shorter than Gaizka anticipates. In a matter of 30 minutes, we are back at the van, happy to rejoin with Cristina and enjoy a hot dinner that is already steaming on the stove.
The next morning, the morning sun greets us on the same path where we had hasted through the day before. The bright light shines through the snowflakes and reflects as if they were passing through a landscape filled with tiny, reflective crystals. At times, the play between light and shadows surrounded by trees that still hold snow in their branches makes us think we are in Lapland. Maybe a Reindeer might jump out of the next bush? Let’s hope that it stays like this for the rest of the season.