[bɔmtyr] noun (m.f.) (Norwegian). Composition of bom, shots that do not hit target and tur (via French, from Greek τόρνος, circle), trip, short or long journey, excursion or jaunt. A failed-trip.
I stand behind the old car of a friend. Dust, mixed with mud and frozen snowflakes covering the car’s paint. My ski’s on the ground and my shoes on my feet. Ready to go. Behind me I hear that my friend pulls his skins apart and then it hit’s me. I forgot my skins, lying next to my second pair of poles. Bomtur. Fy f…! I curse in thoughts. Half an hour by car and an extra hour back and forth isn’t going to happen.
In the worst of possible moods, I can’t offer anything better than to follow my friends skintrail trough the forest, heading for the peak. After a nasty day of thesis-writing with less than a hand full of skiing-hours this winter I’ve messed up once more. Big time. Couldn’t be much more in style with previous mistakes. Working through the bushes, I doubt about my mistakes, big choices, my education and the existence of bad luck. With avalanche risk 1/5 you could fire a cannon from this forest and my thoughts dwell on classical probabilistics: Do I make mistakes in life? Do bad luck and residual risk exist? Is there a third type of ‘wrong’? If the choice I make, turns out to be really bad later on, would that be different from a direct mistake? How much influence do you have with choice on the characteristic properties of an instance of bad luck?
Fooling my way over a brook I think about the value this trip holds for me. None but some technical exercise while I bleed morale. Broken branches on my old ski trousers and I fear for my jacket and backpack. I’ve invested a lot in my hobby over the years and doubt. Should I’ve stopped chasing my dream? Or pause my skiing dream a couple of years until my education was done? Or was my ideal to combine a good education with a nice hobby the right choice after all? They still strengthen one-another ve-ry much as they have throughout the years.
After an hour it’s pitch-black and I still doubt myself in bad temper. My friend calls and says he’s coming back. He’s standing on an open slope above the forest and tells me to look around while he descents. ‘’Good conditions’’. I get my headlight, fumble with my gloves, close zippers and drink some lemonade. Blood-glucose level was too high earlier today after a rare mistake but now, with fresh air and the proper policy, it’s spot on. It’s a bit fresh in the forest. Hmmm, ready to descend and try to get 5 turns on 5 nice 5 meter patches. And then, flaming on to the dusty country road with flooding headlights.
Waiting alone, I look around. The road lies completely empty and black below me, as the world around me does. I hear and feel nothing. Looking up I remember the movie the matrix, where the main character Neo gets advise from an oracle, speaking about choice: ‘’You’ll remember you don’t believe in any of this faith-crap. You’re in control of your own life, remember?’’ And then I see it, flowing above me. As an idea that changes, meanders, flows and changes colours. Untouched and uncontrolled but seen by me and as explosive as can be:
After a couple of minutes of solitude beauty it diminishes again and I see a headlight struggling with a tree in the distance. I hear some shouts, answer and wait calmly. We chat before our final descent begins: some 250 meters vertical though a shitty forest, too many branches and steep gullied sections with less than ten skiing-hours of experience this winter. Ideal chance to end up in yet another hospital instead of the local library. Should I be careful? Slow? Or not? I choose. For technique, enthusiasm and experience. My material does its job and I flame through the forest.15/20 Centimeters of yesterday’s fresh snow on thicker pack below. I choose, I look and I rage! Wildy!
Moments later I find myself climbing the wall of snow above the ditch next to the road before we walk back to the car. Just before we get there I start laughing because of my language mistake: It was a BOOM!-tour. And I look back on a choice with flaming spectacle above but mostly in a forest, above my legs.