A brief, no-nonsense guide to the Ontario pow day. words & photo :: Colin Field.
We’ve all got one of those friends, you know the type: their social media feed is full of waist-deep powder shots every day of the week. When you ask where they’re skiing they’ll respond with vague answers like, “I could tell you, but I’d have to kill you.” If you ask what conditions are like, they’ll say, “It’s all tracked out now!” So annoying. It’s the kind of Instagram account you can’t turn away from. It’s a love/hate kinda thing.
When it comes to localism, powder-day secrets are top of the list of classified information. But don’t worry, we have you covered. We’ve spent years honing our craft and gearing our lives towards powder day accessibility. And we learned long ago that sharing is caring. So here are our top five tips for scoring an epic powder day.
“More Friends on a Pow Day”
Ever heard the expression, “No friends on a pow day”? Neither have we. We’re pretty sure the expression goes, “More friends on a pow day.” Sharing your passion with friends and loved ones is the best way to take advantage of an Ontario pow day. Got a snowboarder buddy that takes forever to strap in at the top of the hill and often falls over in the lift line?
No problem. Bring him along when there’s tons of fresh snow. He’ll have you waiting at the top and the bottom of the hill. Nothing beats sitting at the bottom of the hill watching people whooping with joy as they farm furrows through blower pow, then ski right past you and back onto the chair. Your buddy just hasn’t figured out toe-side turns yet. Be patient.
The myth that you have to rush to get freshies on a pow day is just that: a myth. There’s plenty of snow for everyone. Why would you want to be the first one down Elevator Shaft cutting a glorious track right down the middle of an untracked pow field? Boring! Why not do some lollygagging? Stop in the Village for a coffee and a snack, keep your boots in the car to put them on while they’re super stiff and cold and leave your waiver until you go to Blue to grab your 5X7 pass. No problem. Take your time! Locals rarely arrive early and ready to ski on pow days, so why not wait till the crack of noon to get in the lift line? Heck, grab some lunch first. There’s plenty of time for fresh tracks.
Every Day is a Pow Day, Right?
Got a prior commitment on a pow day? No problem. Tomorrow will also be good. Guaranteed. It snows every day in the winter, right? Once December 21 hits, we’re guaranteed at least 12 inches of snow every single day until March 20. It’s winter in Ontario. Of course there will be fresh snow. Carpe diem? Man, that was written back in 23 BC—it’s old news and totally irrelevant in the age of technology. If you’ve got a Zoom meeting, need to take the dog for a walk or are having a bad hair day, you should probably skip this particular pow day.
Let’s face facts here: Skiing pow is actually all about getting likes on Instagram. So if you don’t have photos of your epic ski day, what’s the point? Taking your time to get the perfect shot is important. And remember it doesn’t have to be an action shot; take a shot of you in the parking lot unloading your gear. Maybe a selfie beside a particularly impressive pile of snow? Creativity is king here, so the more impressive your post, the better. Take your time. Why not make a stop-motion video? Without imagery, there’s no glory.
On a serious note, with the end of COVID near (fingers crossed!), everyone and their grandmother is gonna be at the hill this winter. So be smart, plan ahead, be patient and above all, don’t be a pow-day jerk. Make nice with fellow riders and resort staff. We all want to get back to a great season. Oh, and don’t forget to pray for snow!