Thirty days may seem like a lot to many skiers. But I haven’t skied so few days since 2003-2004 (fifteen). But that doesn’t tell the whole story as 2004 was my final year in Massachusetts.
I was divisively split between the city and the mountains. My love of skiing was tempered by a developing stint as a club DJ in Boston and skiing was just one of my passions rather than my main focus. Fifteen days was a good season at that point. And now, double that is a bad one.
The season began in late October with a multiple day storm resulting in powder skiing ranging from frustrating to epic. Killington and Sunday River tied for first to open in October. And just as quickly as things got started, the early season got shut down.
November became the new October, December became the new November, and January became the new December. Just as our perceptions of the passage of time changed, so too did our perceptions of depth. One inch became the new one foot, six inches became the new boot deep, and finally boot to knee deep became boot to knee deep. Stick season was extended indefinitely.
Capitalizing on short notice storms is always important–but during this season it was absolutely vital. A heavy work load and inopportune storms limited my powder day total to only ten. Late February brought the season’s most sensational storm. But dumpage eluded the NSBS in New Hampshire and there isn’t much to report about the season after February.
I explored a few new areas, including my first trip to Quebec, before the March blow torch brought the already struggling season to its knees. Dartmouth Skiway particularly impressed me during a sleepy “day after the powder day–powder day”. But I only scored one epic spring bump day and I failed to do any skiing on Mount Washington. My heart simply fell out of skiing this spring. Skiing and I had a falling out in April and I dropped out after a token Jay day in early May.
But I am willing to make amends; I will not hold a grudge. Compared to the pre-snowmaking and pre-grooming epoch, we had it pretty good. And if this is the worst it can get, then the worst is behind us and everything going forward looks that much better. Much to my late father’s chagrin, I’ve always been a firm believer that the lows make the highs seem that much higher.
I embrace those lows and so I embrace this season. Begrudgingly, and with a wry smile. Amor fati.