Roger Marolt: Trading principles for more days of skiing
Houston, we have your problem. Sort of. We watched you go all nuts when the coronavirus lockdown was dismissed by your fearless leaders. You had stuff to do. We don’t know exactly what, but let’s agree that it was, in general, stuff you liked. It didn’t turn out well. We felt for you becoming a “hot spot” in one of the worst contexts possible, but we couldn’t help feeling you kind of had it coming. That’s awful, yet what did you expect, heading back mask-less and high-fiving to bars and restaurants and Texas-size backyard barbecues in the middle of a pandemic just because it was Memorial Day?
Now hold on, pardners, before you get all riled up at me for being judgmental and whatnot, you may get the last guffaw. Yes, we are hypocrites. Suddenly there is something we want to do up here in the mountains and it appears we are willing to throw caution and common sense to the winds that carry magnificent powder snow to our slopes.
It just occurred to us that we want to ski this winter. Forgive us for not realizing it sooner, but we have been extremely busy mountain biking, hiking, fishing, kayaking, slack-lining, yogaing and basically getting out into the mountains like crazy since around the end of April while the rest of the country was cooped up and counting the days by piles of fingernail clippings. We lost track of time, I guess.
Ha, but get this: Aspen Skiing Co., the people who hold the keys to our happiness in their database that keeps track of the number of days we ski each winter, announced that, if the Trumporona virus continues to flare, we, the locals, may have to adhere to blackout days when we are not allowed to go skiing in order to stanch the flow of sickness and death in our community and beyond. To use the profound words of many Aspenites, “that sucks.”
The implications are bigger than you imagine. For starters, this means nobody may get the coveted 100-day pin for the first time since yuppies started keeping track of days skied back in 1992 when they did so with Bic pens and spiral notebooks. I can’t explain it. It’s just fun.
Now the hand sanitizer is in the other pair of ski pants. We have been so good doing our part to keep the pandemic under control here, but now that we may have to curtail something we really want to do as often as we would like to do it, the rules of containment don’t seem quite so important. Forgive us for yelling at you when you visited this summer for not wearing face masks. We had no idea. Our feelings of superiority are evaporating quickly. We want to ski!
There is still a chance that, when Thanksgiving Day rolls around and the pandemic remains a threat, we will come to our senses. I’m thinking fear may sober us to the point where we can accept that limiting the number of days we ski is necessary for the good of humanity, but we haven’t done it to help curb global warming, so who knows? Hopefully a deep discount on ski passes helps steer us towards magnanimity.
Look, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to the offseason and clearing our streets of tourists for a while. It will be a welcome reprieve from the persistent anxiety we felt all summer when people from all over the globe came bearing all variety of pathogens. I am not saying we weren’t happy to have visitors. Y’all kept us afloat financially and we are grateful. But …
At any rate, I hope to see you again this winter. By then we will be rested and ready for another round. You may drive me crazy when you are here living the life and I’m working my tail off, but (gulp) we need you. We are, in fact, a town inundated by design. It was destined to be that way since the last nugget of silver was chiseled from the rock walls beneath our ski slopes. Hopefully, the trend will continue until hell freezes over and they put up a gondola and Gucci store there. Until then, I am willing to take a day off now and then so you can ski, if you agree to keep stretching my bank account and massaging my ego. Last one down buys the beer. Thanks. Again!
Roger Marolt chooses to look at every day he gets to ski as one less opportunity to go skinning. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Tony Vagneur: While climate change is something to be tackled long-term in order to reduce wildfires, governments need to look into preventative measures that can be done now to help the land.