Fortunately we have choices. In southern Vermont, for example, skiers can enjoy the excitement of Mount Snow one day and the old-fashioned charms of Bromley Mountain the next day. Fortunately, too, lodging can range from more expensive on-mountain condos to less expensive but more distant hotels.
Truly, you elect your adventure. You create the memory. You choose. Sure, skiing can be expensive. But it’s also true that the diversity is equally notable. Lodging? Lodging options can vary remarkably but, above all, high on the mountain, no matter the choices, we can all carve out new memories.
Truly, the memories of a life in and around the mountains have shaped more then our fair share of memories. The point is that while the sport can be expensive the memories are priceless. Moreover, we can choose where and how to reduce expenses. Last winter, several of us at a magazine I work for gathered late one afternoon during our annual ski tests. That week I was quite busy and I enjoyed the skiing. But, in all honesty, several of my more poignant memories had nothing to do with the skiing. That afternoon was memorable, just sitting after a hard day on the snow, reminiscing about various adventures involving skiing, sailing, flying, and motorcycling.
We smiled, enjoying our friendship.
Driving back to my hotel late that afternoon I realized that despite the high costs the heart of the sport really hasn’t changed. Thinking about that day with my colleagues, remembering the gusty winds and blowing snow I am reminded of other powder days at different mountains.
Sure we have ice. Sure we have crowds. Sure, it’s expensive. But, then, what isn’t expensive. Some cars can cost as much as some houses. Vacations are often very pricey. Still, skiing remains unique, as it has always been. And hopefully always will be.
Some things don’t change. To me, the essence of the sport hasn’t changed, just the trappings around the sport.
Truly, the essence of the sport remains, for me, pure. In fact, some changes have enhanced the experience. The latest generations of skis are, for example, more versatile. I can enjoy the sensation of carved turns at varied speeds, while in the past some performed only at maximum velocity. My new skis carve more easily. Slice powder more sweetly. My tuning tools work more rapidly. High-speed, detachable lifts have clearly decreased and reduced “down” time. Truly, as a young boy I never enjoyed the cold blasting rigor of old and slow double-chair lifts. High-speed lifts are nicer!
It’s kind of funny, maybe I’m just waxing poetic, but in the end, it’s really just about enjoying the mountain, enjoying the camaraderie, and it’s about enjoying the sensation of sliding on skis. The flashy clothes? High-speed lifts? Costly mountain amenities? And high tech equipment? Really, these are just intended to foster the experience.
We try to remember that there are at least two sides to every mountain, and to every mountain experience. It’s true things have changed in some ways. But, in other ways, the soul of the sport remains relatively unscathed.
When is your next escape? Plan now. Plan to delight in Eastern skiing. Sure, dress warmly. Keep your edges sharp. Above all, though, remember that the more things change, the more things remain the same.
Savor your adventure, from the first run to the last.