I was asked a few days back why I so seldom ski – the inquirer thought it strange considering I live in Colorado. Seldom isn’t even the appropriate word – I don’t ski at all anymore.
I generally use the expense argument – it’s just too expensive to ski nowadays. And when you add the decent drive and the ridiculous weekend traffic during the season (no, Denver isn’t very close to the ski areas, much as outsiders might think it is) that just adds to the cost. To others I note that I spend way too much time fly fishing. Way too much is also a relative term – I don’t think I get near enough time on the water – but that excuse works pretty well (particularly after someone takes a peek in my gear closets, and douses the ‘cost approach’). Still, none are the real reason.
The reality is I once lived on the Wasatch Front. I held yearly passes for Alta. And multi-day passes for Snowbird. From the time my garage door hit the concrete, it took me 30 minutes in a blizzard to get to the Goldminer’s parking lot. Little Cottonwood Canyon was like the crack pipe of outdoor recreation to me – I was thoroughly addicted to the powder, and even switched back to skiing from snowboarding so I could hang with the crew more. I’ve spent roughly a year of my daytime life on skis (and boards). My old skiing friends probably consider that a modest estimate too.
I’ve had more than my fair share of time on the mountain, but a few years ago I realized I could neither match wits or guts with the young folks anymore, nor was I going to have access to the kind of conditions the Wasatch Front had to offer day in and day out. And frankly, I’d pushed my luck enough – I’m just an old sissy now, and really can’t afford to break a collarbone. There’s not much a doctor can do for one of those, and I’d blow a whole fishing season to boot. Conclusion: I can’t say I miss the sport (or the broken nose, the perpetually sore knees, or following ski patrol down the hill with a buddy in the stretcher – broken collarbone of course), but I do miss the place and the good times with friends.
I suspect Little Cottonwood Canyon addicts will do just fine without me.
MG signing off (to pay the health insurance premiums)