Bridging the gap
December 10, 2006
At 26, you realize the gap only continues to widen. The young “groms” only continue to get better and go bigger while you feel more and more like an old clunker that needs a new set of tires. Maybe a new engine. Why do you still go to the terrain park? It’s a question you ask yourself often – especially when you’re next in line on the starting ramp at Buttermilk and surrounded by a bunch of kids half your age and twice as good.Maybe you think about this too much. Really, what do they care about the random guy who is a little shaky on rails and scared to spin off the tiny kicker near the bottom of the mountain?Honestly, they probably care more about how their baggy pants look while being filmed by their best friend than whether you try the boardslide on the C-rail you’ve been dreaming about since closing day last April.It’s funny when the roles are reversed. You can do a lot of things the young kids in the terrain park can’t do – vote, buy beer, drive and watch as much TV as you want – but you can’t snowboard like they can. And it makes you envious.It makes you come back to the terrain park to watch them and learn from them. When you really think about it, that’s pretty cool.The park is a place that’ll expose your deficiencies and your insecurities. It’s a place that separates average snowboarders from really good ones. But, more than that, it’s a place where someone like you can learn from a few things from a few kids who, anywhere else, might be looking to you for advice.And, in that exchange, you sometimes feel like a kid again yourself.The gap seems to widen more and more at the start of the season each year. But spend enough time in the park, and it actually starts to shrink.Avalanche report Avalanche danger is moderate at and above treeline, and low below treeline. NW-N-NE- E-facing slopes near and above treeline have still seen some avalanche activity recently, and you will want to approach any steeper terrain on these aspects with care. Slopes 35 degrees and steeper on these aspects will be the most likely place to trigger an avalanche today. Moderate avalanche danger means human-triggered avalanches are still possible and still occurring in our area. For more information, visit http://www.rfavalanche.org or geosurvey.state.co.us/ avalanche.The Aspen Times, Aspen, Colo.