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Archive for February 23, 2011

Eating Snow: Getting Lost, Literally

The New York Times recently printed a very interesting article about skiers getting lost skiing back country in the greater New England area and ultimately needing search parties to get them back to civilization.

I read this on Monday and thought a lot about whether I wanted to post a concerned response or a gripe about it. Eating snow is delicious but it’s never nice.

First let me start with the winter we have had so far. The snow has been incredible, the conditions have been heavenly, and everyone seems to think that the record snowfall is a sign that the apocalypse is upon us. I hate those people. RELAX! This is a good thing. The skiing has never been better, the economies of the ski towns up and down the East Coast were in dire need of a season like this, and it has allowed people to experience what it is like to actually ski on surface conditions other than sheer ice. If I had the Donald Trump authority to fire every weather man who harped on how much snow we have had this season there wouldn’t be any left to tell us about the next resource consuming blizzard to come our way.

Then we come to the issue of people getting lost. Now I hate¬†euphemisms and¬†metaphors but everyone is familiar with the one that goes “those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”. I live in that house and I hope it shatters, plus it’s drafty as hell. Every chance I get I go out of bounds. When i’m out with my ski buddies we are all on the same page: snow on the ground, bring out your rock skis because we won’t be playing on the groomers. Heck, we even ended up with a really close call at one point (see: Getting Lost To Find Yourself). But people, CMON… Know. Your. Limits.

If you have a hard time skiing anything groomed, albeit Great Northern (beginner trail at Killington with headache inducing skier traffic) or K-27 (moguled up double black diamond at Hunter) then you’re going to have a problem out-of-bounds.

If it was easy everyone would do it. If it was something the mountain thought you should ski they would put it on their trail map for Christ sake.

I get it. Skiing is fun. I love everything about how it brings people out to enjoy themselves in the dead of winter. I love how in my entire life I have never seen a fight on the hill. And I have nothing but respect for anyone who comes to the mountain to give it a shot for the first time. I actually encourage it. We were all there. From Shane McConkey to Picabo Street – we all started somewhere and the only way to get better is to get out there and shred it.

But for crying out loud, pizza french fry before you start searching out powder stashes in the trees! Don’t ruin it for everyone and stay on the map. And if you can do it and decide to head out of bounds, let me know and i’ll be right there with you.

Until next time, cheers & keep shredding!

Ryan

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