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Westward Snow!


TURNS INTO THE IT’S 9:09 SPRING BREAK


ULTIMATE WINTER ADVENTURE FOR


photogr a phs by trevor cl ark


A GROUP OF TWIN CITIES VENTURERS. by jordan r ane


a.m. at 10,450 feet on a storm- brewed weekday in late March. An aerial tram crammed with


first-tracks warriors whooshes through a bleached swirl of clouds, howling wind, and not-so-lightly falling snow. In 10 seconds, the doors will open, releasing the day’s first load of undaunted skiers and snowboarders into the ultimate alpine playground. They’re at the top of the longest lift-served verti- cal drop in the country. “Please use extreme caution, everyone,” barks a ski patroller


in the crowd as the tram jerks to a stop at the summit. Winds are pushing 50 miles per hour. Visibility is very low. Another foot of snow is expected. “Anyone who wants to ride back down to the base can remain on the tram,” adds the patroller. “The rest of you, be careful out there—and have fun.” The doors slide open. A crew of Venturers bursts on the scene with their skis, their boards, their goggled helmets, their


22 S COUTING ¿ JANUARY•FEBRUARY 2011


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