Chair Nine, Telluride, Colorado

It’s a monster powder day, and you’re waiting in line at Chair Nine. It’s 8:26 in the morning with only four minutes left to go until First Chair. The hardcore skiers have been waiting in line since 7:00. They don’t mess around. It’s all about catching First Chair with them.

You’re in the singles line, ready to merge with two other riders, when it’s your turn. Music plays through the earphones tucked in tight under your helmet. It’s Tupac. “Picture Me Rollin’.” You eye the crowd and feel the exuberance, the restrained desire, the collective need to carve up the powder.

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