At Snow’s End
It is with a heavy heart that I must report on the “closed” signs at the ski resorts. Yes, the snowboarding season has officially ended in most of the mountains around these parts. Which means that the time has now come to reflect on what has passed in the powder over the last months. How did the conditions this year compare to other seasons? How did our skills compare?
I wish I could say that the snow blew me away this year but, alas, only the wind did that. The precipitation we received this winter was not spectacular yet it wasn’t completely awful either. As it turns out, its so-so abundance wasn’t the biggest obstruction to our enjoyment of the slopes. The main problem we encountered was that each snow flurry had a blustery bite on its backend. Almost every time a storm dumped decent amounts of powder, the post-dump days were filled with howling winds and/or nearly subzero temperatures. Those persistent gusts ruined many of our would-be-great boarding opportunities. To be separated from fresh precipitation in its prime by an overbearing climate was nearly intolerable.
Every year Jason and I buy a 10 pack of tickets to Brighton Resort. These are cheap to purchase in the preseason and we typically use them all up by mid-March. However, due to the windy weather, we didn’t even make it to Brighton’s slopes until the middle of February. Despicable! In order to deplete our passes, we ended up boarding nearly every weekend between the beginning of March and the middle of April. Hitting Brighton’s hills constantly was mostly fantastic but not altogether awesome. We were training for a half marathon at the same time (to be discussed next week) so every Saturday we’d go on an extra-long run and then we’d follow it up the next day with a bunch of extra-long runs down the mountain. In short, we’d wear ourselves out every weekend yet still be behind on our cleaning and errands when all was said and done. I know, I know, it’s pretty hard to feel sorry for me. Boohoo, I had to go boarding a whole lot. What a baby!
Although we were at Brighton perpetually, the best two days we spent in the mountains this winter weren’t actually at that resort. Our trips to Powder Mountain and Brian Head ended up coinciding perfectly with powder-pumping blizzards. Those two outings were so incredible that they almost made up for the rest of the season’s inadequacies. Almost.
And skills? Jason claims that my ability to cruise through deep powder increased many folds this winter. Improving my powder power was never on my mind, I was always just having fun, but I have to admit that I can practically ride the fluffy stuff like a pro now. I’m not exactly sure when that happened.
Except for a couple of outstanding days, the boarding this year was rather lackluster. Wind, wind, and more wind spoiled any chance at greatness this season might have had. But, I must say, those two outstanding days were absolutely amazing! Now that the boarding season and our half marathon are over, maybe our weekends will leave us feeling refreshed and caught up instead of drained and behind or maybe they’ll just leave us craving what we’re missing: the frosty thrill of carving downhill while a vicious breeze pelts prickly snow crystals at our faces. Then again, maybe not.