There’s a moment in every skier’s life that reveals their true nature: the alarm clock on a midweek powder day. Forget about backcountry gates, the conundrum between going to work and eschewing responsibility in search of the ephemeral is truly your decision point as a skier.
We’ve all been there: rolling over groggily and refreshing the local Snotel data to see just how long the thick haze of flakes visible through the inky dawn has been coming down for. Some mornings look good, but for any number of reasons they aren’t worth the hassle of skipping out on work for; then there are those days when it doesn’t matter what’s on your plate at the office, you’re going skiing.
Meetings, deadlines and scheduled calls will all have to wait, because even if you could pull yourself away to head for the office, your mind would be on the hill, ducking into your favorite stash, cheering strangers from the lift and feeling the sublime tingle of dendrites washing over your cheekbones. The decision to ditch work or school to go skiing is deeply empowering, even if you’re fortunate enough to work somewhere with a “powder clause.” There are few things more liberating than spending a Wednesday cultivating the perfect ice beard and having a lunch beer on the lift whilst your coworkers are busy preparing the cover letters for their TPS reports.
Flowing through a snowy landscape on skis is the most graceful and liberating way to move through a mountain environment, and has opened the eyes of millions to the outdoors in wintertime. The physical and mental freedom that comes with making a great powder turn is universal, and it is what truly makes a clandestine weekday at the hill unique: it simply isn’t possible to be immersed in the ski experience while thinking of anything else. In a world that has inexplicably come to value constant connectivity, the ski turn offers a blissful respite, and the opportunity to experience life as it is meant to be lived: fully committed to the moment, without regard for the opinions and judgments of others.
There are those days when it doesn’t matter what’s on your plate at the office, you’re going skiing.
Next time the storm track takes aim at your part of the world, and you find yourself facing that decision point, do the right thing and make some time to clear your head. Take a step outside the world of being a weekend warrior and remind yourself that there’s more to life than building spreadsheets and racking up serious screen time. Your work will be there tomorrow, but that 20 inches of blower won’t be. I’ll see you on the hill.
-Written By Ben Chase