Something magical happens when it’s really cold outside.
I had no idea of this phenomenon until I moved to Park City, Utah, and learned to ski at Deer Valley Resort. In Northern California, even in winter, the temperatures rarely get below freezing. We’d be aghast when the bird bath was frozen. Heavy coats came on when the thermometer hit 50 degrees.
Skiing in frigid weather was never in my realm of possibility until I tried it. My friend Dave, a lifelong skier, made a date to ski with me on New Year’s Day. Even though the weather report showed temperatures ranging between 5 and 10 degrees, I didn’t want to cancel. I am sure glad I didn’t.
Here’s what happened: Dave and I were sitting on the lift in 5 degree temperatures. Layers of ice covered the branches on the aspen trees. It was quiet and still. There was something in the air. Literally, the air looked different.
I’d never seen this before: There were diamonds everywhere my eyes could see. It was as if there were tiny suspended gems or little pieces of shiny confetti dropped from the sky, but not falling.
Photo by Aaron Burden
“What is that?” I asked. Dave shared with me, “It’s the air – it’s frozen.”
They weren’t snowflakes because it wasn’t snowing and the frozen crystals weren’t dropping. The crystals were clear though, like a snowflake. I am no meteorologist so I don’t really know if it’s a snowflake, a crystal or what.
All I know, is when it’s really cold, it’s really beautiful.
My friend Emily loves the cold when the snow freezes to the tree branches.
My cousin Lori tells me she hears the sky sing when the snow is cold.
You can see forever when it’s cold and clear.
And of course, the hot chocolate tastes so much better in the lodge.
Pull out the hand warmers, put on your gloves and your wool underlayers, a mask, a hat under your helmet, and whatever else you need to stay comfortable.
Now what you are waiting for? Go outside and hit the slopes.