Looking Back at Another Ski Season

In my December blog, I was trying to see into the future and guess what the new ski season might bring.  If you read that piece, you might recall that I had no specific goal in mind. I was just going to “play it by ear” as I had done it for almost six decades. Now, peeking into the crystal ball is over. It’s time to look into the rear view mirror…

ball2

One truth I learned this season is that each ski day – just like our fingerprints or our irises – is totally unique. People often say, half-jokingly that there’s “no bad day skiing” and while I subscribe to this truth, I can also assert that each daily ski experience teaches us something remarkable, provides us with one-of-a-kind sensation and makes us constantly view the sport under a fresh angle.

When you live near a ski paradise like Deer Valley Resort, it’s very easy to become spoiled and only go out when all the ski planets and stars are in perfect alignment. It’s so easy to become very picky and, often times, far too demanding. If we don’t keep our attitude in check, we might surprise ourselves muttering “I only do perfect blue-bird days, and today there are just too many jet trails in the sky…” then dismiss another beautiful opportunity to make some great turns. Thank heavens, I have not yet reached that level of decadence!

This said, going out skiing when you live in a ski town truly requires a certain fortitude and discipline. Plus some extra tenacity that can make a whole world of difference between a fun-filled ski season, in which one can get up to speed and enjoy the sport to its fullest, and a succession of sporadic outings where the “ski legs” never seem to appear, even on closing day.  Like many, I love powder and was rewarded earlier in April when we received some 18 inches of outstanding new snow.  I was able to re-live the soft, forgiving and all-absorbing feelings that come with a generous cushion of genuine Utah dry powder.

Unlike the way I was used to (until last year) when I could get my fix of “pow” on a near daily basis, I made do this season with looking forward to the next snowfall and was quite appreciative when there were only six inches of fresh under my skis instead of the 24 I had come to expect. At this point, I would open a technical parenthesis and say that with the new, extra wide skis, “bottomless” powder has lost its seminal meaning.  Moderns skis won’t sink, but for a few inches, no matter how far the hard bottom actually is from the surface!

jfski

Of course, I’m not a “dyed-in-the-wool” corduroy guy either, and I remain more attracted by the rough and tumble terrain, the one that is peppered with hidden obstacles like trees, “Volkswagen bumps” and small cliffs, the one that also requires tight turns and accepts the occasional “friction” between rocks, stumps and ski bases.  I am talking about the kind of terrain that abounds on the west side of Lady Morgan, Daly Bowl and Chutes, and Son of Rattler, just to name a few famous Deer Valley spots!

Son-of-Rattler

All this to say that in a winter with less than average snow, skis used in that type of terrain generally take a beating and, to avoid it, I have overstayed the allotted time I normally use “rock skis,” and extended their short, transitional lives to almost a full season.  Of course, in March as the snow turns to spring quality, I had plenty of opportunities to try my brand new skis on Deer Valley’s legendary corduroy, but for the most part, I spent a season taming some very unruly and hard to control “rock skis”.

I do believe that adversity makes us tougher as well as better and this is precisely what this season did to me. After skiing on my sub-par skis for months on end, I had an epiphany when I tried the new boards I had set aside, on some groomed runs or tested them on the April 9, miracle dump! This means I wasted no time:  While agonizing on my old skis, I was just getting better and doing my utmost to push-back my own technical decrepitude!

Oh, yes, I almost forgot! There was another great lesson I learned this winter.  Early January as I was filming Heidi Voelker, the new snow was beautiful but had blown into the open areas, which combined with a low visibility made skiing tricky, if not treacherous. Filming a fast skier like Heidi on bumpy terrain with a helmet cam isn’t easy either as the main objective is to keep the head – hence the camera – steady, constantly aimed at the skier and of course, try my best to stay in control. Suffice to say that I took at least two spills that cost me tons of energy. I discovered that, at my age, getting back on my feet is much harder than it used to be!

In conclusion, while I didn’t quite make it to the century mark in terms of days I skied this season, I still came quite close to that number with quality and fun-filled skiing, and this is perfectly fine with me.  I had some wonderful moments, great memories, not one single bad fall and no collision either; my body is still whole. I am now ready to rest for a few months with the firm intent to do much, much better next season!

ball

 

Leave your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Facebook Feed

Today's #DeerValleyMoment | Photo Credit: Emily Summers ... See MoreSee Less

Todays #DeerValleyMoment  | Photo Credit: Emily Summers

Ellen Handa, Ashton Roney and 220 others like this

View previous comments

Todd RameyTop of Steins, just past Sultan .

2 hours ago
Avatar

Lisa AntellJordanelle run?

3 hours ago

1 Reply

Avatar

Comment on Facebook

Today's #DeerValleyMoment ... See MoreSee Less

Bob Lyon, Dave Bult and 141 others like this

View previous comments

Atanacio MartinezAmazingly beautiful love the snow

1 day ago   ·  1
Avatar

Andy SimmonsLooks great to me.

1 day ago   ·  1
Avatar

Alexis PavlovOlivia Flores can you believe this?! We were just there in 60 degree weather!

1 day ago   ·  2

1 Reply

Avatar

Mitch MannHoward Greenberg looking at the size of these flakes...best be bringing a shell to stay dry.

1 day ago   ·  1

1 Reply

Avatar

Eric MatteiCalvin Regan it's 100 and 100% humidity in Ho Chi Minh right now...would love to be in deer valley

3 hours ago   ·  1
Avatar

Ali Elner RomeroAlready hot where I live, so can't wait to be in #DeerValley next week!

20 hours ago
Avatar

Cory HaagensonNeed to go to Keystone Colorado for one ski trip together Hayden Haagenson ..

9 hours ago
Avatar

Lindsay Mehrtens-BedwellTaylor Griffin, Matt Bedwell and Dean Griffin, can you believe this??!! It was so hot and sunny last week!

13 hours ago
Avatar

Teri HoenstineSilver Strike Lodge

11 hours ago   ·  1
Avatar

Glenn RiversHi Madonna Marron , miss you and all my park city friends

12 hours ago   ·  1

1 Reply

Avatar

Dave AndrzejewskiHold the snow! We are coming on Saturday

16 hours ago   ·  1

1 Reply

Avatar

Kathleen Cooney CammarataBe there Monday! Can't wait🎿

5 hours ago
Avatar

Eric PikePlenty of snow

1 day ago
Avatar

Nic ReneeI really do wish I was there!!!

19 hours ago
Avatar

Corinne Nunez O'HaraSee y'all very soon! Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

1 day ago
Avatar

Chris LovattNot too many sitting by that gorgeous fire!! Out skiing I'd say!!

1 hour ago
Avatar

Roberta StoutAmazing ❄️.

1 day ago
Avatar

Gloria DuncanBeautiful! Wish I was there!

17 hours ago
Avatar

Nancy SchiltzBeen there many times love it! Have fun!

18 hours ago
Avatar

Adi DeOltNot today! It's too warm for skiing now

13 hours ago
Avatar

David HoldenLooks like fun!

8 hours ago
Avatar

Matthew VerrandoWish I was there.

8 hours ago
Avatar

Rosemary SpiveyLove it!

7 hours ago
Avatar

Rex MartinMan I miss skiing so bad

1 day ago
Avatar

Lisa GoreWas a great day!

1 day ago
Avatar

Comment on Facebook

Deer Valley Resort shared Visit Park City's event.

Thin Air Concert: Magic! with Special Guests MarchFourth
... See MoreSee Less

Thin Air Concert: Magic! with Special Guests MarchFourth

April 7, 2017, 6:00pm

Main Street, Downtown Park City, UT

2017 Thin Air Park City closes out with a concert on Historic Main Street featuring the reggae fusion sounds of MAGIC! with special guests MarchFourth. Presented by Park City Mountain and Deer Valley ...

Thin Air Concert: Magic! with Special Guests MarchFourth

Twitter Feed @Deer_Valley