This entry is titled "Flow" as that word has become the mantra of my season.  I have come to the conclusion that the work of one who is solely dependent on the gifts of mother nature must adhere to the flow of any situation.  I have found in my adventures in pro skiing this winter that the flow dictates everything, and to fight it in order to force the work is a mistake.  

To give some examples let's go back to Japan where I really started thinking about "Flow" and how the work is directly connected to it.  Japan really was an eye opener for me and the people there are very much in tune with the natural setting that they inhabit.  One night the Sweetgrass crew and I where hunting down a night shooting zone and where beginning to strike out.  I proclaimed that the flow was not there and that we should just call it.  So we started heading back to the homestead and to our amazement we stumbled across a sick little zone that ended up paying off dividends with some great shots.  The same trip many of the athletes I was skiing with were trying to force airs into their lines and it just ended up chopping out their lines.  On the other hand I was just asking myself every time what the terrain below me was asking for and then I simply skied the line as it seemed most natural and the shot seemed to work best.  It may not have been "sick" in the bro bra sense of the word, but the shots always turned out smooth and really asthetic, which as it turns out is really what the boys where looking for.  

Now let's go to San Pelligrino, Italy after a huge wind storm ripped through the terrain and our hearts as we watched all the new snow get blown away to the sea.  Still we tried to find big lines to ski and rolled onto a slope that appeared to be perfect only to end up with me post holeing across an overhanging ridge atop an 800 foot cliff that nearly could have ended me.  After some survival mode moves got me the hell out there we decided that we should find more low elevation wind sheltered terrain for our shooting.  Again, we tried to fight the flow and it almost meant my life.  

Not soon after I got home from Italy I was set to go to Japan again with the Sweetgrass guys and by this time "Flow" had become a mainstay in my vocabulary and once again it struck me, but this time it was in my pocket book as I waited for an incentive check from DNA to come through to make the trip even possible.  As flow would have it the check would not come in time and I would have to bail out of the trip, which as it turns out was a blessing as it turned very wet in Japan and I was able to stay home in Utah and really enjoy some time with my dad's cousin Tom and his boys, Alex and Jake.  If I would have forced the trip I would have been overdrafting all over Asia and returned home to ridiculous bank fees.  Instead I went with the flow and spent all week hanging out with family, which as it turns out was exactly what I needed at that time.  I had been on the road for too long and family is what I was really missing.

And lastly I was slated to migrate north to Anchorage, Alaska for the world championships with a good chance of making a run for the title.  However, mother nature and the "Flow" knew otherwise as the belly of Mt. Redoubt volcano decided it was time to purge herself and began puffing ash and debris all across the landscape.  Planes couldn't fly and therefore stranded me and my family of spectators here in Utah.  We tried for three straight days to fight the flow to get there and just when it looked like I might have a chance to get a flight a weight restriction on the plane crushed my last hope.  Again, we all concluded that the flow had a reason for not allowing me to be there and as it turns out we had a great time right here in Utah skiing pow in my own backyard with my father and Christine and really getting some real quality time with my parents.  

Of course I am disappointed when the flow leads me down a path that I was not planning, but ever since the day that the flow told me to make a third ski cut in a chute and saved my life from a hard slab avalanche, the same conditions of which killed a dear friend of Ogden just one ridge over from my location just ten minutes before my third ski cut, I listen, loud and clear.


I am feeling the good flow here in Japan......photo: Mike Brown