What a picture-perfect spring day to close out this year’s Straight Talk blog. I made sure to hit all my favorite runs as my way of capping off yet another incredible ski season in the Boat. It’s hard to believe that this is the last week of the mountain being open, yet the conditions are absolutely incredible.

When I got off the gondola, I was the only person at the top of Thunderhead. Strange, but serenely beautiful at the same time. As I made my way over to Sundown Express, I reflected on how lucky I am, and we are, to live in such a tremendous place. I know that everyone says this — because it’s true!

Myself and Ski Patrol at the top of the gondola
Myself and Ski Patrol at the top of the gondola
Taking in the views towards Winter Park
Taking in the views toward Winter Park

High Noon was as wonderful as always. Nice, dry corduroy greeted me from top to bottom. I was the only skier on every run this morning. A very small crowd of early morning risers meant we all had runs to ourselves.

High Noon velvet
High Noon velvet

Lower High Noon was just as good. Remnants of wind were evident on the ungroomed parts of the trails but had no affect on the groomed sections.

Wind drift art
Wind-drift art

After great runs down Lower High Noon, West Side and Rolex I couldn’t help but to be in awe of the amount of snow under Elkhead lift. Usually by the end of the season this lift line is the first to lose coverage. It’s always amazing to see how many poles, gloves and other objects begin to appear. But not this year.

South-facing Elkhead lift line
South-facing Elkhead lift line

I skied straight on to Storm Peak for a last moment with Buddy and ski down his run. I took my first and last selfie with him and again marveled how much taller I was than him. I will have to hike to him this summer and take a picture to compare the two side by side.

As I made my way to the bottom, I reminisced about each Wednesday of the season. What an incredible opportunity and life I have!

On behalf of the rest of the Straight Talkers, I send a thank you out to those of you who take the time to read us babble on about our days on the mountain. I wish everyone a healthy and rejuvenating spring and summer. I hope to be back next year to do it all over again!

Smile and be thankful!

Brett Buckles, Alpine skier

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