I started skiing the winter I turned 8 years old. We went up to Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine over Christmas Break, I was given a pair of red and white rear-entry boots and an ancient set of K2s and unleashed upon the bunny hill. My birthday is December 29th, and starting in that year I began to associate it with rosy cheeks and a cold nose and a world of white. I still remember the feeling of the wind on my face as I slid down the mountain, still learning the difference between pizza & french fries, not yet aware of what a central role this sport would play in my life.
This winter I will turn 28. To commemorate my 20th season as a skier, I've set 20 goals for myself, to be completed between now and July 2018 (at which point I will have skied for 24 months straight). Each goal belongs falls into a category, making the list broad and all-encompassing, and giving my season purpose--a way to honor the 20 years I've spent sliding down snowy mountains. Last year I was training for the Grand Traverse, and all of my energy was being centrally channeled toward that goal. This year, the goals are crystal dendrites stretching in frozen patterns out to every corner of what skiing is and means, small goals in lots of areas rather than a big goal in one.
1. Train for & complete the Gothic Mountain Tour, a 23.5 mile skimo race in Crested Butte in February 2018.
2. Ski a steep couloir
3. Do a naked lap
4. Take an avalanche refresher course & Avalanche Rescue Course, new prerequisite for AIARE Level II
6. Focus on keeping my upper body square
7. Learn how to tune my own edges
8. Buy powder skis, an inclinometer & a crystal card.
9. Go on as many hut trips as physically possible
10. Ski 70+ days
11. Ski Palli (A-Basin) top to bottom without stopping
12. Ski up to and sleep in an undisclosed spot at an undisclosed location I'm not going to publish on the internet :)
13. Ski Berthoud Pass
14. Ski for 24 months straight
15. PR for ascending A-Basin--sub 45 minutes
16. Drop a small rock/cliff
17. Ski in 5+ states
18. Winter dirtbag in my Subaru Ruby
19. Ski as many new lines at A-Basin as I can
20. The best skier on the mountain is the one that's having the most fun. Strive to constantly be that person & pass the stoke.