Nothing Gold Can Stay

You wake up in Vail.  It's a Saturday in early February.  Fourteen inches fell overnight and another eight are in the forecast for today.  Despite best efforts you did not make first chair, but on the Gondola ride you stare out the foggy glass at the few skiers that decided to take-on the untouched front side of the mountain - despite the risk of waiting in line at the bottom with all the late risers - because it just looked too good to pass up. 

Headed to the back bowls brimming with anticipation, by mid-morning the mountain has swallowed fifteen thousand skiers and boarders who are now all trying to weigh the best runs with the length of lift lines - and boy - both are great.  Eventually, though, you end up in Blue Sky Basin, backed up and appreciating the respite as the chairlift shuttles skiers slowly but steadily to the top. 

In that moment, breathing heavy and hot, surrounded by hundreds of your closest strangers, it'd be difficult to imagine being alone at the bottom of Skyline Express.  Snow whipping in your face.  Chair long since been shut off - ground to a halt and rusting away.  An abandoned decaying monument preserved as an eerie reminder of a bygone era.  Nearly impossible to imagine happening at Vail.  But not everywhere. 

Mount Ibuki, located on the border of Maibara, Shiga Prefecture, and Ibigawa, Gifu Prefecture, Japan, in operation from 1952 to 2010, now stands empty, unused, and abandoned.  Take a tour below in a video posted by Youtube user Saboruchan.  A somber reminder that so dawn goes down to day - nothing gold can stay.

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