|Jared does some "low-tide" skiing at Alta|
Maybe some creative perspective is needed... some marketing spin. Through my rose-colored goggles, I've always thought of the calendar year as just one big ski season with an approximately 6 month intermission. So let's do some creative re-defining of what a ski season is and just call these "low tide" days a coda to last ski season. Let's see if that lifts our spirits any... not likely.
Ullr doesn't appear to be in any rush to toss out the confetti to welcome 2018, so all I'm trying to do is make the best of the little snow Alta has. Doing so requires squeezing as much life out of my nearly 10 year old Line Prophets as I can, just so I can avoid exposing my Superchargers to the peppery traverses and bony runs that are frankly, the norm at Alta right now. It truly feels like the mountain is craving ski bottoms and P-tex like it's heroine. While I'm sure it's not a first, I don't ever remember seeing legitimate bootpacks up Jitterbug or East Greely just to get at some decent snow on Stonecrusher or Eddies.
|"Oh that will buff right out"|
But, let's not forget the upside, the "end-of-life" for a pair of skis always brings with it a happy beginning: the spousal justification for another pair of skis!
|If I'm in the trees, I'm having fun|
So I guess it was fitting that I spent the last day of 2017 trying to scrape as much ski-Nutella from the bottom of the Alta-jar as possible by skiing 25k on my rejuvenated Line Prophets. I didn't take it easy on them. A trip into Catherines, multiple laps across the Ballroom traverse that was starting to get a little "chocolate-chippy" and one rather sublime excursion into the Outer Limits under Devil's Castle. It was there, looking up through the trees at the geological medieval structure in the dimming afternoon light I recalled some absolutely ugly runs I used to make through the trees in my boyhood days at Porcupine Mountain, located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. After most of those runs, my jacket would be covered in tree sap, my shins and arms were battered by saplings, and of course, my edges were dulled by both vegetable and mineral. Yet I loved it... I was skiing. Those were the things I did to entertain myself on those characterless, cloned slopes of midwest ski resorts.
Skis, sadly, are a disposable item. When I checked the Prophets at the end of the day, they hadn't taken any major damage and looked like they would live to fight another day. Skis were made to ski, not stay protected on the groomers. Like a Jedi would say, "Ski or ski not, there is no try [to save your bases].
While I wrote this, I unintentionally had two bi-polar songs playing, "It's Not Dark Yet" by Bob Dylan, in which he sings, "It's not dark yet, but it's getting there," and "All Things Must Pass" by George Harrison. Let's hope the latter turns out to be the anthem for this season.