Friday, October 19, 2012

First Week of Skiing at Killington: Behold the Power of Krom!

What a Long, Strange Week it's Been...

It's my dad's fault.
I used to dream of weeks like this when I was a kid.
He had taken me one wonderful day,
to ride the K-Chair into October Skiing Glory.

The excitement of getting our ski fix in way before Halloween was probably about all this little ski junkie could handle...
Although I am pretty positive my dad must have been even more excited than I was.

But we had done it.
Skied in October.
Done laps off the mid-station until our legs couldn't move anymore.
If nothing else,
I will always be grateful to Pres & Joe for giving us those magical ski days.

Once you've skied in October in Vermont,
you want more.
You are itching for it.

When the mountain opened up for Saturday,
I knew there was no way I was letting all that snow go to waste.
I would be there.
I would ski it.

With the rain on Sunday also came word that Chamber Business Employees could get day tickets by showing a current pay stub.
A ticket?
To go skiing?
In October?!

I would wear that ticket plastic Zicketed to myself with pride.
Cause when there is skiing in October, you don't want to miss it.

Even if it's misty, rainy, kind of a miserable day that only true Vermont skiers would appreciate. Where the snow is a silky soft and your limited visibility through the cloud reminds you that blind people can ski, so why the hell you?

You eat Neil Diamonds in the Gondola and give the tele skiers big "Whoop Whoops" from the chairlift as they drop a knee beneath you. You get a little crazy, because your balance is gonna be slightly off anyways so might as well roll with it. Plus, the ever faithful ski patrol is there to peel you off the increasingly water logged snow.

Did I mention you are skiing in October?

But, as all miracles and bouts of greatness are want to do...
the lift service skiing must come to an end.
There would not be enough for hordes of people to come and get their fix, not enough snow to groom out what is now going to become small craters of snow in the pattern of intermediate terrain moguls. Thankfully, there is enough room to maneauver around these hardened fall bumps, skiing zippers or making bizarrely shaped turns through the developing patches of earth.

As the temperature drops and the sun sets earlier and earlier,
the snow becomes the challenge...
and it is almost the excitement accrued during the ascent that makes the journey.


We see new and different things every time up.
Runoff streams today...and small patches of fresh snow tomorrow.
The dogs
- for I am puppy sitting the Coopie for the week -
run here and there,
discovering new sniffs that might have been frozen yesterday or freshly marked today.

And we meet people.
People whose love of skiing has surpassed their desire to only ride a chairlift.
People who know that snow is there and it, therefore, must be skied.
People that are just a little bit on the crazy side,
like me :)

This is a logical argument...
Ski all that is Skiable.


And so we go.
Slowly sometimes,
other times with great enthusiasm and commitment,
trudging up the hill to arrive at our goal.

To try and get enough skiing in while the snow is there
to appease the itching,
to wane the wanting,
to ease the pain of waiting
for the ski season to actual begin.

But for now,
To make the most of our October Gift,
We Hike.

And the reward,
the sounds of bindings clicking in,
the rustle through backpacks as someone has inevitably misplaced their goggles,
the quietness that overtakes the group as the excited chatter from the upward journey stills and we can take in the scene that is played out before us:

Oh yeah, I lugged all my crap up here because I am going skiing today!!
I am not missing the snow
- no matter how gnarly the conditions might be
or how absolutely hideous my turns might look or feel.

Even the dogs get that joyful look and bask in the glory
that is modern snowmaking technology.
Sometimes I get a look of whoah - how did all this get here?
Are you serious?
They have been hiding snow up here?
When did it get here - it certainly wasn't here the last time we hiked this trail.

I wonder what they think of how snow comes to be,
how sometimes it will magically appear and
how other times we dance around and burn things in tribute
in order to make it snow.

Sometimes, everything just works out :)


And so we ski.

In October.

While we Can.

And then,
basking in the glow of our glory,
we put our skis back on our backpacks and make the long walk home.
Only it doesn't seem so long this time,
not because it's nice and downhill,
but for one reason and one reason only:

We were skiing in October!!!

thanks once again to Mike for giving our amazing snowmaking team
The Go to Blow!!
And much and many thanks to Krom!!

No comments:

Post a Comment