As the leftovers of Thanksgiving feasts slowly diminish along with hours of day light, those who don’t ski are dreading the onslaught of the cold and snow. There exists however a special breed of individual who crave blizzards, watch ski movies with almost as much frequency as the weather channel and feel they look the most fashionable in bright colored ski gear while sporting a goggle tan. These people are ready to be engulfed in powdery goodness from coast to coast.
The ski culture around the country and around the world never ceases to amaze me; I’ve been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to ski multiple 120 plus day seasons, ski in numerous countries on different hemispheres, year round. From my observations the snow is always the variable when you travel to different mountains; some places have light fluff while others have firm hard pack even after a storm. Some ski hills have one lane, dirt access roads while some have interstate highways practically at the base. Rope tows, nut crackers, rusty doubles, super quads and high speed trams whisk the masses up the hill, while the more accomplished jump in a helicopter headed for the backcountry. Among all these different scenarios of snow, lifts, access roads and helicopters the one constant is the passion and joy on people’s faces after they have just had “the best run ever!”
A high percentage of the skiing population is unable to make a living hurling themselves down a snow covered hill; my theory is that hurling themselves down a snow covered hill is their escape from the grind and daily monotony that can be life. Hence the look of joy and excitement plastered to their faces. When you add in deep snow, powerful helicopters and steep terrain, that look of joy and excitement grows exponentially. So today, December 5, 2011 the skiing is good, not great and not what it will be in February, but as the storms roll in a start dumping snow, the anxious feeling is slowly subsiding. The anticipation however, is still at its peak.