On the hill: Another fruitless quest for 100 days on the Aspen mountains | AspenTimes.com

On the hill: Another fruitless quest for 100 days on the Aspen mountains

Aspen Times sports editor Austin Colbert snowboards on Aspen Mountain in February.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

The social media posts will surely begin to skyrocket over the coming weeks. They’ll be from your friends, and likely from many of you reading this, after hitting 100 days on the mountain. After all, reaching triple digits on skis or a board is a rite of passage here in Aspen, and it takes a good bit of dedication to get there (especially this soon).

I was one of those who was gung-ho about finally getting to the century mark this season. This is my fourth winter living the ski-town life and I have never reached that milestone, and unfortunately I’ll be waiting a bit longer.

Plenty of Aspen locals will get there, and I’m sure many of you will hit numbers far beyond a mere 100 days. And I say kudos to you. While I’m a bit jealous — I’ll finish the season with around 50 days, in all likelihood — I’ve decided to look at it from a cup-half-full perspective.

Now, I don’t have much in the way of a legitimate excuse for my “failure” this winter. Sure, I’m still not over a concussion a year later (I think it’s gotten worse, actually), but snowboarding doesn’t impact it, for whatever reason. I have a work schedule that certainly allows, and often requires, me to get up the mountain on a regular basis. How I’m not at day 80 or 90 by now is a bit perplexing.

Still, I’m not going to shame myself on my lack of days, if you want to call it that. Reality is, there are probably plenty who will read this and be jealous of my 50 days. Again, it’s all about perspective.

I love being on the mountain, and I love snowboarding, even though I still think I’m terrible at it. But I’m also not one of those who will push myself to get on the mountain every day just for the sake of it. There came a point this winter, sometime back in January, when I gave up on my 100-day quest.

And, honestly, it was a bit liberating.

I haven’t gotten around to playing in the backcountry and I’m not much of a fan of ripping down hard-packed groomers. I live for the powder days, and we’ve certainly had plenty of them. So, anymore, I tend to only go up on said powder days, unless I find a social reason to go up when there is nothing fresh to be had.

Snowboarding (or skiing) is all about fun, not chasing a silly pin I’d likely lose. I hope to get one someday, but I’m not going to force the issue. The hardcore get to 100 days without thinking about it, their passion making it easy to get up each morning regardless of the conditions. If you’re one of those, I have nothing but admiration for you.

But, if you’re like me this winter, taking a more casual approach without keeping track of those days, cheers to you, as well. Not all of us are hardwired to make 100 days happen, but that doesn’t mean we don’t love or enjoy the mountain any less.

Austin Colbert is the sports editor for The Aspen Times.



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