5 percent there | AspenTimes.com

5 percent there

Five down, 95 to go.I’m counting my ski days this year for the same reason I set a goal and count my days every year. Because I need to get my otherwise office-bound hide out of the building and up on the hill.On Wednesday, the author in this space took issue with people who count their ski days. His resentment centered on the way the lesser-skiing public at large might feel inferior to a 100-day skier.Too bad for you that you feel that way. My goal to ski 100 days isn’t about you or anyone else; it’s about me. Fact is, 40 days on the hill is a successful season. So is 125. And for a whole lot of people, so is seven.Last year, I set out to ski 100 days and ended up at 70. Did I reach my goal? Nope. Did I have a great season? Yup. The goal was worth setting, and worth lamenting about once I realized I wasn’t going to make it, because it kept my mind on skiing and finding time in my busy day to get out and up.One hundred days of skiing is a goal that a large number of people shoot for and make every year. There are a couple of people I know who ski every single day of the season. They’re just grateful to be out there. I know another guy who climbed to B-Fore or higher in Highland Bowl more than 100 times last season. He’d make that walk two or three times a day, when his work allowed it. It was a cool (and obvious) way to train for a climbing venture in Alaska. Like those two everyday skiers, my hiking maniac friend was simply happy to be able to do what he was doing. And whenever I could join him, he was glad I was along for the run.My point is this: 100 days of skiing is something I like to talk about, think about, plot about for reasons that have everything to do with me and nothing to do with anyone else. In three years of trying, by the way, I’ve yet to actually hit 100. I haven’t even come close, with skier-day logs of 77, 50 and 70 days. But so what? I had fun trying and made a lot of turns as a result.Avalanche reportThe backcountry avalanche danger in the central mountains is moderate with pockets of considerable near and above treeline, though northern, eastern and southern aspects are most suspect. Below treeline the danger is moderate.Todays avalanche problems are both soft and hard slabs formed in leeward areas from the strong winds. The most suspect terrain will be slopes and gullies facing northeast to east to southeast near and above treeline, but strong winds are side loading gullies with other aspects and depositing the snow farther down the slope.Avalanche danger details provided by the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. For more information, call 920-1664 or visit geosurvey.state.co.us/avalanche.

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