Skids and Dreamers Unite
Virgin novel by author Brady Snow digs deep into the mountains and the mind. The first novel by Brady Snow is an impressive one. The book starts slowly, giving details about the Midwest upbringings of the main characters. Collin, an intelligent albeit confused and slightly pessimistic man, is trying to analyze and dissect his vivid dreams while trying to find contentment with his move from the mountains of Crested Butte to the metropolis of Denver.
Connor, a self-proclaimed shaman, whose wisdom is at times enlightening and at other times snobbish and demeaning. While Collin is dealing with his decisions of moving to a big city and trying to decipher his dreams, Connor is sure minded and confident, enthralled with his decision to live off the grid in the backcountry of Irwin, Colorado. Then there is Bill, the new transplant from Minnesota who is trying to keep the peace between the butting of heads between Collin and Connor. Does he side with Collin’s seemingly rational side, or with Connor’s whimsical view on life, his energies, and his mystical presence in the world?
The story is split between detailed descriptions of the mountain ranges and ski towns in Colorado, mainly Crested Butte, and Collin’s vivid and esoteric dreams of coyotes and owls. Collin and Bill who live in Denver and Colorado Springs, decide to take a backcountry snowboard trip to Crested Butte, the Jackson Hole of the 90’s. After some mid-level riding in easy backcountry and at the resort with old friends, they decide to spend some serious time in Irwin where the snow is deep and the cliffs are steep. In a disheveled, old cabin only accessible via snowmobile or by foot, Collin and Bill run into their old friend Connor. Connor has been living off the grid for a while, and although the three grew up together, Connor distanced himself from Collin and Bill which certainly rubs Collin the wrong way throughout the entire novel.
Brady Snow writes in a very descriptive manner. Whether he’s describing the height of a mountain, or one of his seemingly lucid dreams, Snow has the ability to take you to that place, put you in his winter wonderland; implant you into the swirling vortex of his head. Mind you, the middle of this novel is full of snow science. If you’re not a hardcore backcountry skier or snowboarder, I can see how boredom could arise. However, if you keep pushing through, and experience the constant glimpses into Collin’s fantasy filled dreams, when you make it to the end you will surely be satisfied.
Overall, this is a novel that will be thoroughly enjoyed by snow enthusiasts that actually pick up a book once in a while and read. Artistic ski bums, nerdy snowboarders, witty cliff droppers and college educated skids unite! This book won’t disappoint. After a day in the backcountry, when you don’t feel like getting sauced, curl up with your favorite libation and give this novel a shot.