With many of our ski resorts open, or scheduled to be open within the week, it’s time to say with a sigh of relief that the “Shoulder Season” is over. So, in an unorthodox move, Mountain Life would like to speak directly to a certain demographic: those people that are on Winter #2 – certainly not new people, but not quite classed as revered “local” status…
Your first season was undoubtedly a riot, likely because of multiple reasons, including partying, bonding, and (if you’re lucky) sleeping with your peers. As well as this, you probably learned to slide on some snow equipment for the first time to a degree of competence. Everybody’s new to skiing at some point; this writer included.
So, with the fervour surrounding your community as to the slowly descending snowline, everyone is just super-friggin’-pumped to get back up there and slay their favourite runs. Giv’er hell just like last winter, right?
Just do me a favour and re-read the title of this article.
It’s so tempting to go off half-cocked, and by doing so you, the relatively new skier or snowboarder, are liable to injury. These can be minor like bumps and bruises, or they can be what we call “season enders” – something I’m sure you don’t want at the season’s start. Here are a couple of warning signs that may seem like a great idea until you’re in the air, waiting for an impact you can’t see coming. I guarantee you, your mind will be exclaiming the swear word of your choice.
Stay on the trail. Stay on the trail. STAY ON THE TRAIL. Access to those sweet floaty pillows, or those hidden tree runs may look tempting at the entrance, but right around the corner, where the trees get thicker, the snow won’t meet you there till the new year at least (unless you’re in Buffalo, NY apparently). If you’re lucky, you’ll recognise that you’re going to be hiking over top of a butt-load of firewood before getting back on the groomers. If not, your ski or board could end up under a fallen tree and can bend your leg in any direction except the one it’s designed to. At which point, you better pray you have generous and understanding parents, or a job that allows sitting.
Ok, so no trees. But even before that – before you even have your pass, it’s tempting to practice your park skills, right? All you need is some PVC piping and a gradient for a run-in! Send it, bro!
Oh, and don’t forget you’ll need enough snow to cushion your landing, because broken arms totally mess with your shred day count. 6 inches of fresh and fluffy ain’t jack when it’s on top of rocks, dirt and empty PBRs.
At the risk of sounding like an old man, people today are used to this sense of instant gratification – when literally anything you care to find is immediate and accessible online, it’s no surprise. So of course it stands to reason that we should expect the same in reality. Sadly this isn’t the case, and every year some halfwit is in traction before Christmas, or on his way home for ACL surgery (and this is still a long way off).
Take it from the lifers: it’s always way more fun to ski on no snow at the end of the year, not the beginning.
Have fun out there!