Spring – Love it or Hate it, It Comes Every Year
As you might suspect, we at conSKIerge follow lots of media and social platforms relating to the ski industry. Fortunately, instead of reading the supposed real news first thing every morning, we dive into Instagram and other sites and look at the zillion ski related posts.
This time of year (some call it “Spring” suggesting something lively and positive) the online ski pictures and stories tell a split story. Most ski areas are closed for the season, and their posts attempt to relive the season with highlights or, having faced reality, are sadly featuring pics of their golf courses and zip lines. But those areas still open (think Snowbird, Mt Baker, Killington) plead with the hard core skiers not to give up and turn to other fascinating activities like cleaning the garage.
And we at conSKIerge are very torn. We are lucky – we have much to look forward to. We will no doubt sail, fish and hunt with our dogs between now and when skiing arises again. And we are left with sweet memories of what just was – endless moguls with dear friends and and brothers at Mad River; powder days at Alta with the Alta Mafia and corn days in the spring sun. But this period of transition is hard for us. Memories are just that – snapshots of the past that exist only in daydreams exercising the mind, not the body. And while we revel in those non skiing activities to come, they don’t energize us or take our breath away like non-stops down Snowbird’s 3,000 vertical feet.
(It should be noted at this point that the conSKIerge team is also a split story right now. One half of the conSKIerge team (aka Charlotte) is still living in Alta and is still skiing every day. The other half of the team (aka, Kevin and the author of this piece) sits in grey, rainy, chilly, windy Maine, waiting for the endless northeast mud season to end.)
But as I sit in Maine (did I mention it is grey?!) I am indeed lifted by one particular memory from late this winter (technically early this spring). Bill and I had gotten an early start on a sneaky early April powder day. The forecast had been for snow, but not much of it. Contrary to those predictions, the Little Cottonwood Canyon snow globe dropped a foot plus. After we had tracked out our favorite haunts and our thoughts had turned to heading home, we both had the idea to take the long high traverse off Snowbird’s Gadzoom lift, seeking the hidden tree shots and openings below the Gad Chutes.
The traverse is long and some parts are uphill enough to make one wonder why bother. But any doubts were erased by the winter’s best untracked deep powder shots through trees and open fields. I knew Bill had a special name for that part of the mountain, but not remembering it I texted him this morning. He explained he called it “Field of Dreams” and his rationale for the name was “Maybe cause it appears out of nowhere? Or cause it’s the kind of run you daydream about in the summer?”
And that folks is exactly what I intend to do.
Ski and Be Well