What, no big storms in sight? Well then, I’m just going to be a grumpy old fart and complain! How about this? The top ten things I hate most about the thing I love most (skiing). In no particular order.
#1 The Powder day frenzy, as long as we are on the subject of big storms. Now that everybody has their fat powder monster skis and snowboards, on any morning with fresh snow, the lineup at the lift starts an hour before the lifts start turning, big lines and usually with some attitudes thrown in too. Then the race to get those fresh turns, and yes it gets turned into a bliss reducing race for many of those folks that fought for their spot in the parking lot and a position in the lift line. No friends on a powder day they say, well it seems like there are a lot of enemies on a powder day, whoa cowboy we are here for fun, right? That’s okay, I’m quite happy to arrive post frenzy, I know where to go to get what I need, off the racetrack.
#2 Tailgaters, on snowy roads (usually rushing to get to that Powder frenzy lift line). You know how it is. Chains or snow tires required so the speed limit is actually 25 mph, but we are already going 40 anyway. But everyone is moving along being reasonably safe for the conditions. Then suddenly right on your rear end, the Subaru WRX, being chased, also tail gating, by the big 4X truck, they must have been going 50. My first reaction would be to brake check them, give ‘em a little panic braking moment, no I will just pull over and let them go by. Six minutes further down the road… Subaru facing the other direction, in the snowbank, we give a friendly honk honk and a wave as we go by. Hope your cell works out here to call a tow truck to get you out!
#3 People who pull the safety bar on the chairlift down too quickly and without warning. Smack in the back of the head, oh I’m glad I wear a helmet! We have all seen a couple of those thighs that will have a bruise on top from the vertical divider on the bar coming down on top of someone’s leg. How about a warning please; “BAR DOWN”, hey and at the top if you could stop bragging about your fresh pow line you just got and give a “BAR UP”, thanks.
#4 Selfies right in front of the exit gate. There is a boundary rope with a small opening or a gate to let people through. Of course, along with that Black Diamond and “you could die” warning sign. There she is, perfect spot to block anyone skiing through but get that super cool selfie of a spot you can’t ski anyway! I bet you drive like that too right?!!
#5 Nice toilet! You are skiing out a nice little traverse trail to a cool spot with great views before you drop in, beautiful! Almost. Except for the yellow pee holes you get to stand next to or on, that will be nice and sanitary for my skis at the end of the day. Even my dog knows to go off the trail just a little bit!
#6 People who give a peak or ski line a new name. It has a name, it has for years, but you are new around here, and just skied that for the first time so you gotta name it like you were the first ones to ski it, and then tell everybody about it. It is fun to have a name for stuff out there but it’s been done before and everyone knows it as blah blah.
#7 We will see you at the trail head parking lot at 9, perfect! Quick beacon test before we go. What do you mean you forgot your beacon shovel probe? That’s not going to work, we are not taking you out there without those. Oh I know, better yet, if we go and we kick off an avalanche, we will name that chute “Forgetful”!
#9 Speaking of forgetful. Forgetting to put some beer in the car for the end of the day. Just one beer at the end of the day in the parking lot while we pull the boots off and share some stories and laughs, it doesn’t get better! What do you mean there is no beer in here? I thought you were an “expert”. I’ve been thinking about that first sip for the last three runs up there. Over an hour ago I even heard the beer horn (that’s what we call it when late in the day, someone in the group does that big loud yawn, a clear indication). And I am way too poor to afford a ski resort priced beer no matter how great the day was!
#10 Grumpy old farts complaining when there is really nothing to complain about. The snow came early, it has stayed pretty darn good. One of the fun aspects of this snowpack is that it has been changing every single day. It has been that season of, go out and look around, you will find really fun conditions, plus we can go everywhere, above 7,000 feet. If I had a complaint about this winter, it’s that I haven’t gotten to shovel my driveway enough!