Generally I like to view my pint glass as half full, but I’ll be the first to admit that the overly optimistic ski reports these days aren’t fooling me! There’s no denying it, we’ve had a rough start to winter.
In BC we do the best with what we’ve got. We strap our skis on our backs and hike in our heavy boots for hours, satisfied if our efforts produce five or six good powder turns. We ride chairlifts in the wind just praying it’s about to blow in the next big snow storm. We take chances standing in lineups waiting for untouched terrain to open, or camp out hours early with dreams of first tracks. Some chances pay off and some don’t but at the end of the day a “bad” day skiing…well it’s still pretty much better than any other day.
And I truly believe that. It’s always worth it. Even in less than ideal conditions.
Still, I could use a little dose of honesty in our weather reports.
When a snow report boasts “unlimited visibility” what they really mean is there are absolutely no snowflakes falling from the sky, thus no face shots, no beardcicles, and no snowpacked helmets and goggles. There is absolutely nothing that could possibly obstruct your vision except the glaring brightness of the spring-like sun.
When the resort website says “freshly groomed terrain” what they are trying to tell you is sharpen your edges! It snowed, then it rained, then it froze, and we tried our best to churn it up with our machines but now we’re left with bulletproof frozen corduroy!
When the radio host says “chance of flurries” he’s just saying that. He’s sick of sounding like a broken record “no new snow, no new snow, no new snow”. He’s not lying though… I suppose there’s always a chance of flurries.
There’s one report we can always count on though, that’s the chalkboard sign outside the local après ski bar that says “we have beer”. So after we earn a few turns, carve up some groomers, and race a little slalom through the exposed rocks and branches, we head down for a beer and celebrate another day in the mountains. Because I think we all agree that even a tough day skiing still deserves a celebration!
We’ve been through this before. More than once we’ve struggled through June-esque climate in the middle of January, only to be unexpectedly ravaged by an April snow storm as we advantageously begin to plant our spring gardens. But we are not dusting off our leaf blowers just yet! We know winter will come when he’s good and ready. We just hope he’s almost ready.
So we’ll continue to make the best of it, mountian biking in January and sitting on sunny patios until Mother Nature lets her Old Man Winter out to play.