For the First Few Weeks of the Season ... I say Thank You.

There is something about the first few weeks of the ski season, those first few weeks when Killington stands alone, with only a few trails covered with as much snow as Mother Nature will allow.  Sometimes, she lets us ski from middle of October, letting us get in over a month of skiing before Thanksgiving arrives. Other years, like this season, we have waited impatiently into November for her to cooperate and let us slide around on snow.  We are all so focused on our own selves, on getting our equipment ready, making sure we know where everything is and wondering what will have forgotten for that first day of pure joy.  So many of us are focused on catching up with old ski buddies, making sure their bodies are functioning again after that summer of downhill biking or sailing in some place that I've never heard of.

And then the people.  So many people, everywhere.  We calculate the new uphill capacity of the North Ridge Quad vs the Glades Triple and wondered where everyone was going to go and maybe even complain a little about the "white ribbon of death" as everyone flocks for those first turns of the season.  So many people, everywhere.  The liftline wrapping around and having to be redirected past the hot dog stand rather than the access ramp.  One person per every five square feet?  ten square feet?  Hoping that the person in front of you keeps their rhythm and that the person behind you doesn't pick up speed and ram you.  This is what we usually talk about on social media.

There is nothing quite like the group of people who spend their entire summer dreaming of Day One.  These are my people.  And, chances are, if you are reading this blog, that these are your people, too.  I rode the singles line on that first Saturday afternoon and met people from all over the east coast.  A coupe of guys who live in NYC but hail from Odessa, where my father's family emigrated from.  We decided we were family and toasted our newfound companionship with Jaeger.  I met two 15 year old boys from Mount Snow who thought that this place was just absolutely amazing and asked about coming back from Superstar in May.  These are OUR people.  All the filming happening in the park and the ritual day one selfies on the chairlift ... these are things that we all have in common.

Sure, those that don't ski these few weeks question our sanity and safety.  But guess what?  That's okay.  They don't have to be here. They can wait until their home mountain is open to ski in their safe space.  But for those of you who were, who made the trip, who used one of your five or seven Ikon days - those who paid full price - we are one of the greatest communities in the world. We are Ski the East.  We are Ski Vermont.  We are the Beast that skis the East.   I just want to thank each and every one of you for taking the time to gather in one place, to celebrate the crazy world that is the ski & snowboard community.  Thank you for being dedicated to snow, and being part of this great community of skiers and riders that feel the season deep down in your soul, so much so that you just can't wait anymore.

So now, as your home mountains begin to open up and the rest of the ski & snowboard world joins us on the hill, as more trails open and we spread out away from each other, remember the magical energy of those first few weeks and hold it tight in your heart.  Bring that East Coast or Vermont Pride back with you for World Cup, share it on social media or write about it in a blog.  No matter what this winter has in store for you, pass your love of this sport on to others, share it strong and loud.  Welcome others into the sport by sharing your passion and your love.  And hopefully, the faithful will all be healthy enough take that trip to the mecca.  To gather, once again, on Superstar in May.

Until we meet again ...


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