We all keep getting them. These constant updates from out West, New England…even Europe. “18 inches overnight and a 172” base… BEST season in years… it’s literally VOMITING snow on us and we have to TUNNEL out our front door…”
Yeah…I can’t stop looking either. Reading, envying… cursing the unseasonably warm temps and rain that took away our amazing early December snow.
But, at some point, you have to put away the phone, shut off the noise…and just show up.
That’s what East Coast skiers do… isn’t it?
No matter the conditions – we get up in the dark, pull our gear together, scrape the ice off our salt-covered vehicles, crank the heat which (in time) will defrost the windshield… find something appropriately defiant on the radio… and get on the road.
Because we’re not a fickle bunch…we’re scrappy… nothing is better than a day on the mountain. So we show up.
Thin-cover, icy, scratchy, steeps…blower pow, death-cookies, etc… Doesn’t matter. We ignore the world’s Instagram-happy, fair-weathered masses and get to the mountain no matter the conditions or trail count.
It’s just too important.
We know that there are so few authentically beautiful moments… constantly bombarded by the relentless chaos of life. And the mountain, OUR mountain remains a refuge. A place where you reconnect with your authentic self. Where everything makes sense, and you are truly alive.
That’s what showing up here means to me. And I know I’m not alone.
This past weekend I did just that. I showed up.
And I wasn’t alone.
* * *
Saturday morning – I met up with Marc Musman in the lodge, sporting newly acquired racing skis mounted for tele, he was anxious to get them on something firm. We hit the double and headed to Northface. The conditions were pretty much exactly what was needed for him to try out the new factory-tuned Dynastars. Firm and granular, the ride was fast, flat…allowing for large sweeping turns, with the occasional ice patch to keep you honest and on your game. Marc is such a smooth skier it’s always a pleasure to watch him lay trenches.
Snow was forecast for that afternoon and hopes were high for the long weekend ahead. By mid-afternoon small flakes started to fall and with guns at full, under the triple was the place to be.
Joined by Chris Stearns we were soon skiing a great line between the whales and trees under the guns on skier’s left. Lap after lap we switched the lead, riding up the whales and back down into the tight chute, the guns filling our tracks as we made them.
A bit later, we met up with Cipriano who joined us on the triple. Again, we were finding great lines, even on that single run.
By the end of the day, I was overcome with exhilaration. The view alone is worth the trip up – an entire valley stretching out below, the lodge, the sweeping vista of our Catskills.
A gift… to those who show up.
Keep the Faith. We’ll get ours.