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100 Days 

click to enlarge Jim Campbell Illustration
  • Jim Campbell Illustration

Skiing a 100 days* in one ski season is not for the faint of heart or the physically weak. Some may call it survival of the fittest while others may rely on luck to make it through. I’ve always said, “What I lack in physical ability, I make up for in mental strength.” This is especially true when trying to bag 100 days in one ski season.

While the accomplishment comes with notoriety, bragging rights, legs of steel, an almost year-round goggle tan/wind burn, there are plenty of woes that typically rear their ugly heads somewhere around Day 50. Everything before Day 50 is fun and games. You have made it through holiday crowds, windy and rainy days and high-pressure systems that lasted for, what felt like, weeks. But then the breakdown starts.

Let’s start with the most obvious; sleep deprivation and physical exhaustion. Even though I typically bank about seven hours of slumber each night, it is never enough to offset the day-to-day “ski, eat, sleep, repeat” routine followed by the necessary hours of après ski dancing (in ski boots, of course).

Among the aching back and the accentuated right shoulder muscle due to carrying skis over and over and over again from the car to the lift, there also comes the real prize in the form of toenail loss. Beating your toes against the front of your boots, day in and day out, will eventually result in a toenail event unlike any other. But who wants toenails, anyway?

Then comes personal hygiene. I admit, my first couple years of skiing a large number of days, I tried wearing socks and base layers multiple times between washings. This experiment failed miserably — ask anyone who sat next to me. Technical gear may keep you warm and dry, but it does not keep the stink away if it goes unwashed for too long.

With all this said, I would never think of doing anything else and look forward to the next season of attempting 100 days and all of the woes that come along with it. Toenails or no toenails. 

* Everyone has his or her own definition of what a day constitutes and what defines a season. For me, a ski day at a resort is three runs, a day in the backcountry is one run (because earning your turns is hard work) and my ski season is November through April.

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