Ah, what a weekend. Ten centimeters of snow, and not your typical howling, road-closing, skin-freezes-in-thirty-seconds variety, either. No, this was the good stuff. Light, tiny flakes, hardly any wind, a high of -2... this was a weekend to go snowboarding.
Hidden Valley, like most slopes in the prairies, are 30% ski resort and 70% last resort. Still, it's not a bad place to bury one's demons. After all, my last trip didn't go so well, and nobody wants to spend spring break in Banff full of self-doubt. Fortunately, I had the Right Tool For The Job.
The Gearing-Up sequence is a staple of coolness in movies: a swift montage of close-ups showing the hero pulling straps, fitting buckles, pulling gadgets off the shelves, loading weapons, affixing mechanical hands, etc., and then the camera pulls back, showing that the hero is ready for action. Interestingly, it can be argued that Bruce Lee cracking his knuckles is also a Gearing-Up sequence, since a) that's all he needs, and b) it would be a pretty poor staple of coolness that didn't include Bruce Lee. Anyway, there's also a subset of Gearing-Up sequences known as the Right Tool For The Job (RTFTJ). This is when the protagonist pulls out his father's sword, or the gun he swore he'd never use again, or whatever's in the guitar case. It's that cinematic moment of animism when the audience knows that the hero just stacked the deck in his favour.
In retrospect, then, it was actually a good thing I rented a board last time, because when I pulled my old Spitfire Wide out of the closet, I could almost hear the background music reaching a crescendo. It was time to do this right. And that's exactly what happened. Full speed, no snowplowing, cutting through trees, hitting the occasional (small) jump... in fact, I even rode a teeny-tiny bit of rail. It was hardly even raised out of the snow, but it was a rail nonetheless. That's the sort of day that only an RTFTJ moment can deliver. It's like Hollywood came true, for a few hours.
But without question, the best part of the day was telling a seven-year-old boy that he had to stop snowboarding until his little brother caught up to him. The kid nearly broke out in tears... I like to think of myself as a generally non-reprehensible person, but schadenfreude like that is hard not to savour.