I’m sure it saddens all of us ski bums out here, but the season is dwindling. The snow is beginning to melt, and spring is approaching rather quickly. Birds are chirping and that chill draft has turned into a much warmer breeze.
The snow on the last day reminds me of a snow cone on a hot summer day: Add some tiger’s blood syrup and there you have it, one of the best parts of summer.
It’s that last chair call when it sinks in that we may have to wait till next year to again experience this sport that gives us such freedom. When I ski I feel like I am a bird, flying high; nothing else matters at that moment to me. I’m free.
My last run of the season was quite the experience. I decided to ski the face, simply because it had near no snow and it would be a story to tell. I got most of the way down until I ran into a patch of grass — OK, more like a hillside of grass.
There was a strip of snow on the side about the width of a snowboard that extended probably 10 feet down. There was no way I was going to bomb down that slender piece of death. I decided it would be a better idea to flip off my skis and walk. At that exact moment, some ski school friends were passing me on the chair lift. Yeah, you can imagine my humiliation. I started to laugh as they called out to me. Let’s just say I will never live that one down.
Closing day is one of those bittersweet kind of days. People dress up crazy, some even in their swimsuits, and make the best of the ski conditions of partly covered dirt. Not to mention you have the famous pond skim that most resorts indulge in. It is humorous to watch both skiers and snowboarders skim across, hoping not to get drenched.
For me, since I work at a ski resort, the ending day is especially hard, because when you work with a group of amazing people all season long, it’s hard to say goodbye. The pond skim is an ongoing tradition each season that the whole staff looks forward to.
This year we dared our ski school supervisor to get the guts up and do the pond skim. And she did it, making it all the way across. We all exploded in cheers and excitement, and waited for more staff to cross the manmade pond.
The kids who ride the park all season bomb down the hill, skim across the pond and throw some trick they have practiced all year on the rails. It’s pure entertainment. Then you have that one guy who ends up ripping the tarp as he goes across and the pond slowly drains out. At that point, no one’s mad; we all simply take in the sunshine and be grateful for the amazing people and place we call home during the winter months.
Some resorts may close for the winter, but they may still offer spring and summer activities. Some resorts, like Deer Valley, have outdoor concerts on a certain day of each week.
Well, fellow ski bums and WSU classmates, let’s embrace the summer heat and start the countdown to the next ski season! April, May, June . . . let’s see, eight months to go!