EMBRACE THE SEASON

Here in the northern latitudes the seasons change on constant basis going from summer to winter and back again. With the onset of this annual change, a certain group of people get anxious. The golfers mourn the loss of their season, but the skiers moods brighten and their eyes light up with any chance of snow in the forecast as winter approaches. This is our season, and we skiers and snowboarders should embrace it.

By embracing the winter season, we should get outside and enjoy some activity in the great outdoors. There are a multitude of things to do in the outdoors in winter, but one stands out for a large group of people because it is fun and exhilarating. How do we get so excited about a sport that leads to driving 1 to 8 hours in a driving snow storm to park a half a kilometer from the ski lifts to haul handfuls of equipment and then go outside in cold temperatures? Well, it’s the skiing of course.

Skiing will mean something different to a lot people. Some enjoy the double black diamond runs while risking serious injuring if they fall, whereas some others feel the walk to the lifts in ski boots is as much injury risk as they are willing to take on. It doesn’t matter what level of skier you are, you can still have fun. Skiing is a sport, but not really a competition unless you are racing. I will repeat skiing is sport, minus the competition which makes it more of a recreational activity and, therefore, something that can be enjoyed by everyone no matter your level. This leaves the masses of skiers and snowboarders to ski or board as fast or as slow as they want and to go on whatever run they can handle for their ability and current snow conditions and then all meet at the bottom of the lift and do it again. A single run can take half the morning for some while they stop and enjoy the scenery, taking pictures along the way, or resting and recovering from the occasional fall. Meanwhile, some others do a run in just a few minutes.

No matter what level of skier or snowboarder you are, you can enjoy the outdoors and we are lucky to be close enough to enjoy the Rockies and other mountain ranges. While skiing on the firm steep runs that your friends said you would be fine on, take the time out from being terrorized by what lay ahead of you to be amazed at what Mother Nature provides for us in Western Canada. Each day of skiing brings different snow conditions and different sights. Sometimes the sights are what helps make skiing or snowboarding so spectacular. A perfect example of this happened last year at Lake Louise. The day was completely socked in with low clouds swirling about laden with moisture, almost like an ice fog. It was cold at the base and grey as can be, but three quarters of the way up the Glacier Express chair, there was slight break in the clouds. As I rode up the Top of the World chair, I completely broke into the sun about the clouds. What a view as the clouds below appeared like waves on the ocean with the surrounding peaks acting as rocks sticking up above the water surface. When I got off the chair, I was amazed at how many people were just like me and staring at the scene in front of them, amazed at what Mother Nature can do. I do not remember how fast I skied any run that day, or even which runs I did or if the snow was good, but I do remember the scene from the Top of the World chair.

This only happened because I am a person who embraces winter. Get out there and make memories of being outdoors, enjoying the conditions of that day and the scenery that is presented to you at each lift ride and run. Embrace winter, enjoy the season.