Roger Marolt: Where average is awesome even if a little disappointing
The latest reports are out and by almost all accounts it looks like we are in for pretty average snowfall this winter.
I was a little disappointed when I heard this, but hardly surprised. After last year, I am afraid average will seem a little dull. How could it not? But, most winters are average, and that has been enough to get me hooked on the sport and living in Colorado, so bring on the ho-hum!
Just over six months ago, we had face shots about every other day for three weeks in late February and early March. We were skiing alleys and chutes that haven’t been skiable in decades. For the last three months of winter there was no need or reason to tune your skis or repair the bases.
“Normal” after a season like that will be about as exciting as visiting your accountant the day after seeing the Rolling Stones unexpectedly at your favorite bar for an unannounced tune-up before their big show in the stadium the next night.
People think I’m nuts when I say that lanes open up in the woods when the snow gets unusually deep, but it really happens. Think about the shape of pine trees. They are wide at the base and get progressively narrower toward their tops. On a dry year, you can’t squeeze through where the skirts of the trees touch, but you have lots of room to maneuver when the snow is deep and are slaloming nearer to the birds’ nests. That’s what we had last year, so don’t blame a big growing season when you go back to last year’s powder stashes and can’t find what you were certain was there before.
Nobody talked about rock skis last season. We had great snow for an early opening and only had a couple short dry spells the rest of the winter. The coverage, as usual, got a little thin between Christmas and New Years from all the people coming to get a taste of our snow, which reminds a lot of skiers of a light, bubbly, dry wine-like beverage.
It’s unfortunate that we can’t call our snow Champagne Powder ©. In case you didn’t know, that is against the law, so don’t do it. I was informed of this several years ago by a lawyer for the Steamboat Springs© Ski Resort which has copyrighted that description and threatened to sue me and the newspaper I wrote for if I ever use the term again without proper attribution.
It’s too bad that Steamboat is the only place where skiers can enjoy Champagne Powder ©, but, like roses, dry fluffy snow anywhere besides Steamboat Springs skis just as sweet, if not even a little bit better, in my humble opinion. Not being able to use that expression that I have used since I was about 5 years old didn’t ruin my ski season last year, nor even the year before when nobody in the West had any snow at all, including Steamboat Springs where one can only imagine what champagne on the rocks tastes like. It makes me wonder though; do you think anyone has copyrighted “Face Shots”?
There was one interesting thing about the announcement of an average winter at a recent presentation where a couple of local weather experts laid out their customized snow forecast in grandiose style as if they were at the Louvre Museum pulling the shroud off a recently discovered Michelangelo.
Apparently, one of the experts came out and basically said global warming isn’t real and most of the other experts have been fooled because they have been measuring temperatures on urban islands where temperatures are higher than on what one can only assume are rural islands, where they haven’t bothered to place thermometers, maybe for fear of cannibals. Who knows?
I’m not sure what I think about relying on a climate change denier for a forecast to plan my entire winter around. I’m sure you can be right about this winter’s snowpack while being completely wrong about an atmospheric threat to the future survival of mankind. But, I do wonder why a weatherman would take a political stance at a local presentation to local powder hounds who are mostly curious about what the upcoming winter might be like and had nothing better to do on an offseason evening than come to what basically amounts to The Weather Channel Live. I’m sure beer was served. That makes me suspicious, too.
For what it’s worth, I don’t much care what the forecast says. I’m going skiing no matter what. I’m a daily special kind of guy. Surprise me. I’ll try it and then give the review. If it’s good, I’ll be thankful for a second helping.
Roger Marolt’s skiing routine has never been much affected by the weather forecast. Email him at email@example.com.
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