Reflections on a Ski Season with Less Than Stellar Snow [VIDEO]
I get sick of some Coloradan’s snow snobbery.
Though I have to admit I’ve indulged in lifting my nose in disgust at the idea of skiing anything besides a fresh line of powder. But, when I find myself being bratty, I try to remember to kick my own ass later for acting like an ungrateful puke.
Yeah, it’s true that the feeling of fresh powder underfoot is so much better than, well, just about anything. However, the feeling of being able to slide across the Earth, on powder or not, was the original feeling that brought me to Colorado in the first place.
When I was in Pennsylvania, I never skied in fresh powder. Ever. Imagine that. Some Colorado heads can’t, and that’s why I’m here to tell you that snow, in any form, whether it is crusty or deep and drifting, is awesome.
It is awesome, and it is always awesome. At least to some degree. The degree of awesomeness varies, and how much it varies depends on three simple factors.
1) How long has it been since you’ve been on snow?
2) What kind of snow was it?
3) How big was the hill/mountain that said snow covered?
If you were skiing a foot of powder at Steamboat last week, craptastic dust on crust is not so bueno. If, like my niece and nephews in the video, you’ve been on snow recently, but that snow was icy, wet, Pennsylvania snow, that dust on crust can feel pretty great.
“From the mouths of babes,” right? When I get pissy about snow conditions that require anything less than a snorkel to breathe, I just remember when I was a babe. Or, a teenager. In Pennsylvania. Not only did we not know if we would have snow, we knew that if we did, we might not get that much of it. And when we did get it, it would quickly melt, freeze, and turn my favorite ski slope (Avalanche at Seven Springs Mountain Resort) into a steeply graded ice rink.
When I first arrived in Colorado, it was November, and a big powder day was still more than a month away.
It was mostly man made snow at my then home resort, Breckenridge. Guess what? I was the best skiing of my life. That is simply because of size.
It's all relative. Ski in PA all your life, and packed powder at Breck is a dream come true. If the last time you skied was closing day at Steamboat last year, not much besides deep powder and sunshine will do.
Now let's relate it to life in general. If you are skiing, life is good. Period. You can't go to the resort unless there are many good things in your life that are lining up.
1) You have to be at a place where a resort is open. That eliminates war torn areas of the world. There are no resorts on skid row. There are no resorts in hell. If you are at a resort, that alone is something to be thankful for.
2) You aren't working. If you are working on the slopes, even better! Who gets to work with skis on? You do, apparently, so be happy.
3) At least some, if not most, of your body still works the way you want it to. Even a blind skier, a skier with one leg, or anyone who is piloting their own personal roller coaster down the hill have control over enough of their motions so that they'd even attempt skiing. Again, a reason to be very thankful.
So, did we get all the snow we wanted this year? Maybe not. Are we still grateful as can be for what we did get. You know it!
Besides, backcountry season isn't over!