Travel Blog

20 Sep



Arthur DeJong photo, courtesy Whistler Blackcomb

Energy changes, in you and in the collective feel of the landscape. All summer long you put thoughts of skiing in a far away place so you won’t go crazy. Month by month you dream about skiing and the reasons that make it great.

August. Comes around and these thoughts come forth a little bit. Rain storms, chilly nights – oh man, skiing is only potentially two months away. But still, it’s two whole months.

September. All the new magazines have come out. You go to every ski movie premiere, ski swaps are abundant, and you drool over all the new gear. You strap into your new skis on your living floor and daydream of winter, loving every minute of it. Most of your conversations by now consist of how skiing is only a month away, how it’s the year of the “50-year storm,” and how abnormal weather patterns will bring the gnarliest winter. Temps are dropping. There is a new energy – winter is coming. You body feels it. The landscape feels it. All of a sudden you are wearing long sleeve shirts and can smell the seasons changing.


Julian Carr at Whistler Blackcomb featured on the poster for the Sherpas Cinema film “Into The Mind”

October. You may have already bought your season pass, but you haven’t taken your picture – this gives you an excuse to go up to the mountain. You look up at all the runs, cliffs, chutes, and realize these mountains are looking back at you with the same anticipation. Something in your body is absorbing whatever magical, uncertain aura is out there. It’s so tangible you can almost taste it. Patience my friend, there is still no snow. You shake it off and head back to the city. You watch the weather channel religiously, just waiting for the word. Three of the four forecasts say there’s nothing coming, but one frigg’n weatherman says there’s a 15 percent chance of snow in the mountains for Tuesday. Yes, it’s on. You are so blindly optimistic; it’s awesome. Tuesday passes with zero snow.

Why is skiing so much fun? Why doesn’t it get old? Why do we religiously count down the months? Skiing embodies all aspects of what makes life beautiful. Undoubtedly, I consider skiing the most enjoyable sport on the planet. Skis make the impossible possible. Then it takes place in the most beautiful of surroundings, and more often than not, you are skiing with good, if not best friends. It doesn’t get any better than that.

You also have the danger factor, the risk vs. reward. You finish a day of skiing unscathed and your pride transpires to your overall well being. You feel so good; it’s an amazing feeling. The quick thinking utilization on skis is crucial. It’s kind of like playing a chess game against the mountain – a mental workout every day. I have always thought that each day of skiing is a mystery. All humans are intrigued by a good mystery, especially if they are starring in the mystery. The mountains and the dangers lurking are something to be respected and understood. The uncertainty of the mountains demands greater patience and keener perception before it discloses whatever mystery first drew you towards them. You must be humble, sharp, and never take it for granted. With the proper patience, the mountains become a good friend.

Find a friend.







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