And just like that, it’s over. The last day of the ski season. It happens every year. Most years, by the end I’m kinda meh. Ready for golf and mountain biking. But not this year. This was a fantastic ski year for me. The snow was amazing – more powder days than I’ve ever had. And close to record levels of snow (global warming, of course). But it wasn’t just the conditions that made it great. I made a fundamental leap in my skiing ability this year.
Interestingly, it wasn’t my skill that improved – it was my confidence. Up to this point, I’ve often let fear control what sort of runs I ski down. I’d look at a line through the trees or a black diamond run on the map and manage to talk myself out of trying it. I’d spend most of the season skiing the same runs over and over. The only exception would be when I’d ski with someone better than me who’d assure me, I would have no problem skiing a new run or line. That would be the only time I’d try something unknown.
But something happened at the beginning of this season. After thinking about, contemplating, and worrying about a new area I’d wanted to try – I finally told myself, fuck it, we’re going to do it. What’s the worst that could happen? And sure enough, I had the skill to do it and had a blast. That boost in confidence opened up a whole new world for me.
All season long I’ve been on a mission to ski the entire mountain. Every time I tried a new line through the trees, I’d discover an entire new area I never knew existed. It’s been an absolute blast. Probably the most fun I’ve had skiing. And with each new run, my confidence soared.
I’m ending this season with the knowledge that I can ski the entire mountain (with some crazy exceptions involving cliffs and chutes). There isn’t any place I don’t have the confidence to go. It’s an amazing feeling. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not always pretty. There’s been a few lines that were more survival than skiing. But I got down. And there’s been a few yard sale wipeouts for sure. But I did it.
And now for the first time ever, I have goals for next season. I want to make that next big jump in ski ability. It’s time to move from average intermediate skills to expert. I’ve never before felt like that was possible for me. Now I do. If I work hard physically this summer to get ready, I’m sure I can make that leap in ski ability. The plan is to start next season in the best shape possible and take some lessons right away.
It’s exciting to have a new goal. Skiing has always been just something I do. I enjoy it, but it’s been routine for as long as I can remember. Like going for a hike. I enjoy it, but I certainly don’t get excited about it. This year changed it for me.
I finished my last day of the season with a powder day. Amazing to think we’re still having powder days in April. I spent my day skiing all my favorite lines. I tried one steep new line through the trees. I joked with a few of the lift operators. The resort was mostly empty, so I was often the only one on the run. It was quiet in the trees. Towards the end of the day the clouds rolled in, snow started falling, and visibility dropped.
I stopped halfway down my last run and just listened to the wind. I looked around at the mountains surrounding me and watched the snow falling. I’m grateful I live in a place where I can do this. I’m super stoked to see what I can accomplish next year.
205 runs and 298.1K vertical feet skied. It was a good season.