JW Seasonnaires: Steve Cargill In Aspen
I belong to this family called the Jack Wills Seasonnaires, it’s notoriously hard to get into. It means I can go anywhere in the world where there are Seasonnaires and walk right into the social scene without a single thought as to where when or how, immediately surrounded by the most beautiful, energetic, young and chosen. I guess in a lot of ways it’s like a fraternity, except without the membership fees, remedial tasks and bro rape. So not like a fraternity at all, instead a collective of the best young movers and shakers at every University spanning the length the East Coast, for now. I’m not huge on favouritism at the best of times (what?) but among the JW Seasonnaires I have my few whom I would follow into battle. For these few I reserve the right to any favour by my hand, for these few there is not much in this world that I would not do, and for these few, wherever I am they are welcome. And they know it.
I spent my first ever summer on Nantucket in the company of Steve Cargill. He guided me around the island and so quickly became a best of mine, in fact if memory serves I even wrote a blog post paying homage to him all those months ago. I would link you now but vanity means I’m scared to look myself, it’s probably a very crude effort now but find it if you must. Before he left for Australia to live in paradise as a dive instructor he took it upon himself to show me one of my all time favourite experiences I ever had on Nantucket, the Coatue Beach Safari. Where we commandeered (before I’d earned it) the JW Landrover and ripped out to the farthest most beach point of the island trailing a convoy of summer kids, to have one full night play under the stars where nobody could reach us. We made a promise at that point, to cross paths from here onward in each of our respective paradisiacal environments, because we both knew. True to form Steve Cargill lands in Aspen and makes the phone call, one phone call is all it will ever take.
Unfortunate then, that Aspen Snowmass hasn’t seen any fresh snow for almost a month, he may as well have stayed at home and skied the East. Only kidding, that’s ridiculous. Aspen was 50degrees every day and riding like spring except in the depth of winter, the best thing to do was ride park and work on the goggle tan. Mine is so sick right now, already. But day in and day out Steve would ski the alpine like a champ, a.m to p.m, and then rage like a hero p.m to a.m. Not bad for a sea level. Beers taste different at 8000ft, I can promise you that. So every day Steve would ski and I would ride with one of my all time favorite students, Bryn. Until the day came when my booking was over, but Steve had only two days left on the mountain. That first day Steve, Britt and I headed to Buttermilk for a mellow afternoon of playing under the new Tiehack lift, it was the first overcast day we’d had in weeks and the temperature had dropped hard since yesterday. Finally, while we were on the slopes together the snow started to fall. Tiny, delicate flakes at first that don’t really add up, but then it changed gear completely.
Under the radar of so many meteorologists this epic system just came out of nowhere and the scene changed . Eventually the mountain closed for the day and we were sent home on buses struggling in the historic conditions. When we actually reached home the sky had changed completely, it was nuking, and not showing ANY signs of letting up. We did what Winter Seasonnaires do on christmas eve, we ate chinese food out of paper containers, held a private screening of The Art Of Flight and went to bed early. Something divine had spoken and the snow conditions went from zero to apocalyptic over night, tomorrow we were going to beat the sunrise.
Whoever said “no friends on a powder day” was a dick. Friends MAKE snowboarding, snowboarding without friends is like ramen without water, or frat boys without dubstep, it’s a necessary ingredient. I would even call friends the catalyst in the chemical reaction that makes powder days the finest phenomena on earth. Steve is my homeboy, even if he is from sea level, wears Sperry’s and doesn’t know how to ski in powder. In his defense the kid ripped, all day long! We spent literally the entire day from first chair to last call, just like they do in the movies, riding, bouncing, falling, shooting, ducking, dodging, stomping landings and getting girls phone numbers. As if by magic, all my best friends on skis squeezed out their sick days and it became a social leviathan smothered with the deepest, lightest powder in the whole of Colorado. That day was one of the best days of skiing I’ve ever spent, god only knows what it was like for Steve…