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The Fifty Year Storm. Act 1.

When we arrived in Haines, the high mountains looked wind scoured and hard- everything was beat. When it comes to skiing, it's only the top couple of feet that mean anything, and Haines was having a record year for overall snowfall. The mountains were at high tide, and the prospect of the inevitable refresh loomed on the horizon.

We settled into the Haines House after waking up. The four of us caught up on stories about Rob and Patrik's trip up the Cassiar highway. They had a trailer wheel that went bad, bitter Liard-esque cold, wolves, and a chance meeting with Johan Slam from Stewart, B.C. and the first Powder Road trip.

After breakfast, we were outside moving our gear around. It was still cold out. Not as cold as Liard, but cold nevertheless- 0 degrees F on the thermometer. Patrik said he had heard that it was supposed to snow the next day. There was no mention of how much or for how long.

We spent the rest of the day settling in, talking to Dave, Carol, and their son Woody, and then unpacking and starting our cold sleds.

The next morning came, then snow.

It started gradually, then closed hard.

By evening of the storm's first day, it was clear that it was going to be a big one. The snow banks along side Mosquito Lake Road grew geometrically, the trees became pregnant and heavy with white, and then buried objects and buildings began to disappear. The next thing we knew, we were in a storm that would pulse for two weeks.

Like a trip back into the womb, like a dreamland that is silent, insulated and cozy, it was magic- a high energy affair that fell upon a crew of souls who are nourished by deep snow.