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Fond memories from last Sunday at the Nordica intro............

I remembered Marco Sullivan from when he was a kid coming up at Squaw. Back then, he was in Langes and I did some boot work for him. Nice kid, not a fathead like Wisi Betchart for example. We had a beer Saturday night with the Dolomite CEO (formerly of Nordica) and talked for a few minutes about old times and new boots. Currently, Marco nor Schlopy have accepted the agressor stance. (then again, world cuppers generally are loth to try new boots). Saturday night was stormy with about an inch an hour blowing sideways.

Sunday morning at the Canyons was clear and icicle cold (3* F at the top of the Gondi) As my group gathered up, Marco came over to join us for the first laps. Dropping off the top of the quad, we set out over some long rolling terrain heading to the far edge of the ski area. Marco was in the lead with a herd of ski dealers trying to sort ourselves out behind. As we dropped out of the hard morning sun and onto the shady trail I decided the front of the pack was better than the middle or the back.

Speed picked up and visibility dropped in the flat morning shade. Within seconds, I lost sight of Marco in a snow gun cloud. Coming out of the cloud, the sensation was almost surreal. The form of Marco in a Laid over GS turn flashed quickly in and out of my brain as he used a slow sign as a delay gate and disappeared again in the next cloud. There were blurred images of other skiers but we gave them a wide berth in a high speed ballet. Jim Schaffner passes me wide to my left in a high tuck and I decided that third in line was just fine.

More snow guns, goggles iced, Jim visible in front, Marco a dim shadow ahead of him. The skis are solid, but I'm getting not so sure about me. Images and figures come and go faster..........I'm thinkin a few more turns might be the deal. Snow guns lined up on a wide steep pitch........Hellcats are laid over and a vertical stack of slow signs form a delay and an excuse to slow down. Face has gone numb, a pass of the sleeve fails to clear the snow gun ice, that's really why I'm slowing down.......really.

It was a good day....................