Hell of a season. Started strong, ended strong and was bound in the middle by a ridiculous amount of sunshine. Give or take a day or two. Weather’s certainly not everything though. Chances are, some of the season’s most memorable moments occurred under some of the most unconventional circumstances. That’s just how “it” works. Someone wise (my twin sibling) once told me amidst an agonizing hike in Alaska’s backcountry, “Tara *brief pause* it’s not fun unless it’s a little bit miserable.” Perfect delivery. Perfect timing. Soaked from head to toe, clearly ill-prepared, undergoing facial impalement from razor-like snow flakes, I paused and cracked a smile in agreement. A refreshing perspective. Focus on the positive, not the negative. So simple. Yet so easily forgotten.
Focus on the inevitable rush of adrenaline you experience after finally finding that second ski post double ejection in an endless field of powder just as you’d surrendered hope and hesitantly agreed to lay eight or nine hundred-something dollars to rest in the fluff. After accepting full defeat, there’s no better feeling than spotting that metal edge piercing the snow’s soft surface. Focus on the exhilarating rush, not the hours (upon hours) spent digging on one of the best powder days of the season. Focus on the beverage spraying laughter you and friends burst into when reminiscing of the time you broke trail alongside Schweitzer side streets through two feet of snow New Years Day, missing one shoe, piecing together where your phone, credit card(s), other shoe and all your friends could be. As you reach up to scratch your head you quickly discover you’re still adorned in a feather-laden HAPPY NEW YEARS! crown, subtly reminding you of the day…and year. The misery accompanying your walk of shame is fleeting. The headache, confusion and frost nipped right foot are temporary (and will fade/thaw) whereas the story and laughter its retelling ensues is everlasting.
Personal 08/09 season highlights include excessive snowfall, excessive sunshine, first chairs, last chairs and every one in between, utilizing the iPod’s “pause” function and consequently getting to know a good friend a little bit better with each Chair 6 ascent, redefining the term “slopeside” by way of a brown(ish) 1995 Subaru Wagon, early morning hikes up Schweitzer’s untouched (aside from my footprints) corduroy armed with a coffee in one hand and a camera in the other in order to admire and document one of the many stunning 08/09 sunrises, skipping lunch and ignoring the grumbling starvation because the snow was “that good”, and succumbing to the truly simple pleasures life throws your way such as turkey shaped trees, phallic-esque t-bar shadow puppets, chairlift speed dating love connections *cough* and the inevitable case of the perma grins accompanying the season from beginning to end.
Perhaps your season highlights are a bit more traditional. The sense of accomplishment after navigating your first black diamond run or the joy of teaching a child how to ski or snowboard. Either way. Conventional or non, we want to hear them. Your 08/09 season highlights. POST THEM HERE…