Lamenting the missed powder days
December 24, 2002
Three days last week I was going to go skiing. The snow was light and deep – I’m sure some people called in sick for the day.
We all know that the snow was good, I don’t need to remind you of that. But the problem is I really don’t know how good the snow was.
You see, I was going to go up three days but only made it up once. Wednesday afternoon. That was all.
Alpine Meadows was beautiful that day. Judging by how well everything was tracked out, the early birds enjoyed a fantastic day.
Northstar looked great on Thursday as well, but by the time I got there, my nose was ready to explode from a cold and I was already bogged down with other stories to do, so I couldn’t just neglect my responsibilities. I came, I saw, I left.
So the point is this: I hope everyone out there didn’t enjoy this past storm because I didn’t. Merry Christmas.
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I was really excited about it.
Oh, I was going to go back up Friday, but a: work wasn’t finished and b: I twisted my back first thing in the morning. They debilitated my whole day. Snowboarding? Don’t even think about it. Oh, and not to mention I still had some extra work to do.
I feel guilty because I missed out. I didn’t kill anyone, clip a lift ticket, rob someone, but I feel guilty anyway. Guilty of what? It’s like I missed something, a valuable moment of my time that I’ve lost forever, like I’ve been violated. It’s similar to when I watch anything on MTV: A complete waste of time.
If you read this and you think, “Man, he sure missed out,” don’t. Think, oh, he didn’t miss anything. Powder? Well, a little, nothing to brag about. If you continue to think that, you’ll eventually start saying it and believing it yourself.
This way, if I talk to you, you’ll protect my feelings, my sense of the “sports and outdoors reporter” where I’m supposed to be out covering that stuff. Hey, that’s my beat. I cover deep snow and skiing and snowboarding. That’s what I’m here for.
Does anyone think I’m here to cover high school sports (not that there’s anything wrong with that)?
That was easy. Of course not. That’s part of my job but when I can avoid coverage of AYSO soccer or something similar in favor of a ski story with fresh tracks, I won’t flinch.
Skiers and riders, I’m here for you.
I’m supposed to be, anyway. Maybe now you understand my frustration. I’ve already boarded plenty this season, but I’ve missed out on the supremo face-shot powder days we had last week.
It’s also possible that since we were writing extra stories for another publication this week, I shouldn’t have expected to snowboard at all with the under the extra load I had. My disappointment doesn’t lie in the extra work (and pay), but in my failure to budget my time correctly.
Ride in the mornings, work in the afternoons and evenings. Is it that hard?
Next storm, next storm.
When you read this, I won’t be anywhere near any good snow. I’ll be in Phoenix. Powder day? No, no, pool day. Christmas lights on the cacti and the palm trees.
But when I come back, look out. If you see me before the lifts open, clear the way. The powder runs are mine. I’m going to fight hand over fist, so clear out. It’s mine.
Now, that much aggression may get me kicked off the hill. But I’m determined. It’s my job.
New Year’s resolution? No more will I miss a powder day. There is no time for that.
Matt Riddle is sports reporter for the Sierra Sun. He is currently staring out the window at Christmas light-covered Cacti in Arizona.
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