1November 2013

We have a winner!

Wow. The response was overwhelming! Your stories of your best day ever amazed us again and again. We heard about perfect snow conditions, lifelong goals attained, perfect ski buddies, unexpected trips, epic crashes and lucky road closures keeping away the crowds. Even marriage proposals!

Your stories were inspiring, adrenalin-charged, hilarious, sentimental and even poetic (seriously, we got a haiku!). Your appreciation for your skis and boards, your love of the mountains, and never-ending hunger for perfect turns makes us realize how many like-minded friends we have in you out there. Yah fresh pow community!

But in the end, there could only be one winner. It was NOT easy to choose.

Congratulations Kahlen Macaulay! Kahlen’s story won us over something fierce. He expressed so well what most of us get out of being in the mountains: yes, the giddy rush, the joy of perfect snow, the athletic experience, the luck of being there at the right time. But also the charge that stays with us, even as we return to our regular lives. Plus, you reminded us of our own amazing day at Kleine Scheidegg a couple years ago.

Happy 30th Birthday, Kahlen – we’d love to help you fulfill your promise.

Here’s Kahlen’s entry:

“My best day out, was actually last year with my old friend Philipp Egger – the man who I learnt to snowboard with when we ditched our skis and got onto a board at the age of 12 – 18 years ago now.

Super G, downhill and slalom had been exhilarating at first, but nothing compared to tearing up the back country looking for that eternal powder turn on your board and pretending to be Terje Hakonsen! We spent most of our winter weekends riding a small local resort behind Philipp’s house, Rigi, whilst schoolmates and friends were going to the movies, shopping or whatever else they were doing!

But despite all those great days, the best day I ever had was last year in a familiar resort we used to visit occasionally as kids in Switzerland, Grindelwald / Kleine Scheidegg. On a blue bird with fresh snowfall in the week (no one around) we tore up untouched powder fields in the shadow of the mighty north face of the Eiger. NO queues, just pure sunshine and deep powder made this one of the most incredible days out. The mountain seemed to have invited us and accommodated every wish we had: clear day, waist-deep light powder, views over the whole Bernese Oberland, the Eiger towering over us and all to ourselves – it was utopic!

We spent the day racing down incredible runs, and then picking out new lines on the way back up – like kids in a sweet shop, it was non-stop from the first lift until the sun started to go.

Our last descent was one of the most memorable. We waited at the very top of the mountain, re-living the day and watching the colours of the mountains change with the sun descending around us before setting off for one final descent. Neither of us stopped the whole way down, getting that rush of a pure and true long descent – fearing we may never experience that again and making every single tweak, turn and jump count.

The reason this was my best day out, was not just because of the obvious, but because it was with my oldest buddy at a time when we both needed the release that only the mountains can give you. That day embodied the whole trip and we both went back to our desk jobs refreshed and revitalised. I still find myself thinking about it and Googling sites like yours – which is how I came across this contest.

However, if you don’t think that is enough of a reason to award me (and Philipp) the prize, then I have another very good reason. This Sunday the 27th of October I turn 30. When we were both 14 we promised that we would both go heli-skiing before we were 30. Through life’s various obstacles and challenges, for whatever reason this has not happened. As I turn 30 people keep asking me what it is that I wish I had done, or will do, all very serious questions. I tend to give a stereotypical answer, but deep down the only thing that stands out is that we didn’t go heli-skiing.

So I implore and beg you to please help two kids who used to wait for ski passes from people coming off the mountain, make our dream come true and take us heli-skiing!!!”

Can do, Kahlen, can do.

Thanks again to all of you for your incredibly enthusiastic participation. Really. We thoroughly enjoyed this window into your ski lives and we hope you continue to make more incredible winter memories! Maybe we’ll see you this winter.

Bring on the snow!

Katie, Jeff & Rudi