Packtalk Outdoor



  • Loveland Ski Resort, CO

I once did something pretty cool in a month that is insignificant, on a mountain that shall remain nameless. So this thing I did started with some carving in quick succession. Then the pattern became quicker. Tighter. Then tighter. Then it was one brief slide into oblivion. I left both the ground and gravity behind. Flipping through the nameless space that no one else but I inhabited. I landed, and swished and swooshed to a comfortable stop. I looked around. I excitedly tore off my goggles and scarf. I waited around. I looked around some more. I told myself, "That was cool." And then I asked myself, "If a guy does a back flip and no one is around to hear the coincident 'woo-hoo,' does the trick really exist?" I waited as I looked around. Then swished and swooshed my way, in silence, back to the lodge. 

I fell to my knees, screaming to the mountain tops, "Must the voice of this glorious sport be forever bound to unreliable cell phones and one-off walkie-talkies?! Will the great feats of man and woman and mountain be contained solely in ski movie screenings and tall tales told over beers at whatever criminally priced establishment in the village?!" 

A baby cried from across the room, and a dog barked in the distance. It was that vivid. I turned and stared out of the window, seeing an inebriated man swipe his inebriated hand over the steamy window. I couldn't quite make out the words, but whatever they were, they stayed with me. 

That night I was jolted out of my sleep. In the darkness I read the writing on that smeared window: Cardo. What it meant I did not know, but I forsook the next half-day of skiing to find out (I mean, come on, I'm not going to miss a full day on the slopes on Google).

It was a device that promised communication in motion. "What white magic is this?" I thought. "It cannot be!" But let me reassure you, my friends, that from that day I have never flipped backwards off of a big slanted mound of frozen water strapped to exquisitely designed slabs of plastic without letting my voice rip out a grandiose "booya!" or an extended "heeeeee!" or a nightmarish "f*%^#%#*!!" or a reckoning "save me God!" or a simple "you bastards will pay for this!" or a "hey, this feels kind of nice" into the connected ears of friend, or loved one, who knows all too well what it means to shout obscenities and tell bad jokes, or simply freak out while you attempt an activity obviously not made for creatures with the tendency to say things like, "I'm pretty sure I can do that." 

Be those your famous last words, or whatever you want to say, Cardo is your jam. We found this out the real way by taking a group of pro skiers up to the mountain and photographing what they do, and how they do it. They move a little bit fast. So it was nice to have their words recorded as they blast past you.

There are some things that even a camera lens can't catch. If you're careful, you just might hear it when it flashes by. 

Photography by Steven Paschall