My View: Heaven on earth on the Tahoe ski slopes
I spent the last weekend skiing at Northstar and having a great time in the deep fresh powder. I have had some of the best ski days of my life here in the Sierra, which is saying a lot since I grew up skiing and snowboarding in the mountains of Colorado.
I love snow. I can’t think of many things that are better than first tracks on a powder day. The smooth feel of my snowboard floating over the snow, that moment of perfection when you are turning through the trees. It really is heaven on earth.
I have been lucky this year to have been able to spend most of my weekends up on the mountain. We have had a great winter this year and, hopefully, a great spring and summer.
With that extra 2 to 5 feet of snow on the ground from the most recent storm, and with a new (hopefully snowy) storm forecast to come into the region over the next several days, we are looking great for this time of year.
Snowboarding is one of my favorite sports. The silence, the exercise, the experience, all contribute to something special. It is a moment of Zen, where I can be completely focused on one thing, and everything else disappears, at least for a moment. That feeling is what brings me back time and again to the sport.
Not only is getting up on the mountain great for the body but it is great for the mind. I think that is part of what brings so many people to the sport.
I am not the kind of guy who likes riding in the park all day. I am a very weird breed of snowboarder who loves moguls, loves steeps, trees and especially loves the solitude.
Being on the snow is also a reminder of the dangers and the immensity of the mountain. It is a reminder to not get cocky and to always stay within your limits and your abilities.
I have seen too many people get hurt on the mountain and known too many people who have been caught in avalanches. While the sport is fun and relaxing, it also has its dangers and risks.
Outside of the serenity being on my board brings me, I really enjoy meeting people on the chairlift. I am inherently curious about other people. I firmly believe that we all have a story to tell and that I can learn something different, something new, by asking questions.
The best thing about a chairlift ride is that you get a couple minutes of focused conversation with someone who you will likely never see again. They are almost always from somewhere else and have lived a different life than me.
They have done different jobs and experienced different things than me. But, because they are on the chairlift, we instantly have a connection — a connection that allows us to have a conversation without any catch.
It might be worth requiring politicians to ride on a lift together, although they might end up pushing each other off rather than be forced to have a civil discussion.
By bringing people together based on a common interest you will find that we are more similar than we might seem at first glance.
I have met people from all over the world on a chair lift. Most of the people I meet on the lifts in the Lake Tahoe region are from the Bay Area or from Sacramento.
It is remarkable to me the diversity of who I meet, from the college kids up here on break to the software designers from Silicon Valley to the countless others from all over the world who come here.
It is a great thing to have so many people, from so many different places, all choosing to visit our home. It really is that experience of our lifestyle that brings them back for more.
We are snow farmers; our lives in the mountains revolve around the weather. When it snows, we are happy, when it doesn’t, we get mad.
We have had to be reminded the hard way the last few years what it is like without a good snow. So I likely speak for most of us when I say I love the snow.
Ben Rogers is the co-general manager and advertising director of the Sierra Sun and North Lake Tahoe Bonanza. He can be reached directly at email@example.com
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