This is the hardest time of year for me. If I were a hunter, or one of those lucky ones who get to escape the worst of the “shoulder seasons” to a climate that consists of 80-degree days, sunshine, beaches and cocktails that have little umbrellas, things might be a little different. Days are getting shorter, rain is incessantly falling in bucket loads and all of us skiers and boarders sit in anticipation of Opening Day announcements, asking the only question that matters: “Is it snowing on the mountain?”
Ski swaps and ski movie premiers have mostly come and gone. Luckily, we have the opportunity this November to celebrate our winter passion with the Snowlander Expo (see p. 14), featuring the Spokane premier of the latest film from Teton Gravity Research and the chance to catch up with our mountain friends. There are also some lingering ski swaps, as well, affording the same opportunities to share in winter stoke.
Resorts outside our region, but not too far away, are boasting early openings already. Let’s hope Ullr is generous with us again this year, as last season we all celebrated after area resorts opened earlier than expected.
While I wait for the Opening Day, I prepare by searching Pinterest for crock pot recipes, cleaning out the old ski clothes box, pairing up gloves, retiring old goggles and searching for new ones (have I mentioned I have a severe goggle fetish?), checking my jackets for the leftover cash from last season, getting the summer wax scraped off the old boards and getting a tune on the new ones.
I have things to keep me busy, but once I hear a date for any opening day in the area, it amazes me how quickly my busy schedule frees up. And then it’s like there has been no time between closing day in the spring and opening day in the fall. Once it arrives, everything becomes normal again, and for four months the routine simply becomes: ski, eat, sleep, repeat.
Hope to see you on the slopes, sooner rather than later!