The next morning dawned much the same as the previous, but with a bit more chill in the air. It was unclear if the ski area would open today but there were many more people at the bus station with skis. The busses up to the ski area are few and far between, so you really have to pack yourself in. Boarding the bus was a much different experience then the day before - 80's power-ballads and techno mashups piped into the bus's extra large speakers helped to provide some levity to the sardine can vibe and before we knew it, we were in a pow-surrounded mobile dance party. Discotecs are big in Bariloche - so we decided this particular bus ought to be rechristened the 'Buscotec'! When we got to the ski area we knew we were in for a treat. The chair lifts were running, most of the locals had their butt sleds out and we were some of the only people heading up the mountain with skis.
We hopped on the lift and couldn't see a goddamn thing, but it was clear from numerous hoots and hollers echoing around inside the clouds that there was pow to be skied. I've been skiing since I was two years old, and since then, I've hardly missed a month, much less a whole season. The voyage of the Rascal, however, required sailing through the tropics during the north American winter, and I didn't make a single turn last year. Such a blasphemy tore at the very fabric of my being and by the time I hopped off the lift, I was ready to explode with excitement. My legs were vibrating with tens of thousands of missed turns and my beard was quivering with hundreds of anticipated face shots.
I stepped off the lift and we made a bee line for the side of the slope. It was soft and fresh and fantastic and we let out a thousand hoots and hollers of our own as we sliced and diced our way down the mountain. Back in the saddle again!
Eventually the clouds cleared out and we ended up with half of a glorious blue bird pow day.
Snowbanks started to form along the side of the road. The Yaris's headlights peeked at them and her nearly-bald summer tires squeaked with fright. We began to gain more elevation and the snowbanks grew higher with patches of snowpack on the road. Porter and I looked at each other and silently wondered if the Yaris was capable of going the distance.