“The sport of skiing consists of wearing three thousand dollars’ worth of clothes and equipment and driving two hundred miles in the snow in order to stand around at a bar and get drunk.”– P.J. O’Rourke
Skiing has been a major priority in my life ever since I can remember. My parents would take my older sister Brooke and I on ski vacations with our extended family, dragging us through blizzards and down black diamonds, trying to instill the love for the mountains into us. Despite the constant frozen tears I eventually learned to love the cold, snowy days spent on the hill with friends and family.
My Dad continued to push the sport upon me at a young age, and for that I thank him. I can’t remember the exact day that my love affair with snowy mountains started, but I am grateful for having a passion that I can indulge in every winter season.
- THE GOOD
This season, I started working at Big Sky up in Montana, close enough to Canada to feel part Canadian. Working for the resort scanning lift tickets allowed me to ski everyday, which was a pretty sweet gig. Seeing the mountain slowly fill in, and skiing on a different snow surface day after day has made me enjoy powder days even more than I used to. Days when we got new snow were spent touring around the mountain and working on small tricks. I improved my skiing tenfold, simply because I was spending time in my ski boots everyday, spinning and carving my way down the mountain.
One of the things I am most grateful for this season is the relationships that I formed with so many new friends. I moved up to Montana only knowing a few people, and it turns out I didn’t spend that much time with them anyway. Friendly faces were everywhere; I was always out riding with someone different due to my position as the fastest ticket scanner in the West. My parents even got to come visit me and meet all ten thousand of the friends it felt like I had in Big Sky. Skiing with my Dad on his 60th birthday was a special day that I enjoy looking back on as one of my favorite this season.
- THE BAD
The only thing that I would say could have been better this season was the total amount of snow that came down at Big Sky. It was considered a low snow year, and I was getting rained on while working in February! The lack of snow, along with a couple other factors, led me to part ways with my position at Big Sky. However it was fun while it lasted, and I still got my share of powder days.
It is hard to think of bad times at Big Sky because everyday seemed like a magical dream. If you look up Big Sky in a dictionary, you would see descriptions such as “Too Much Fun” and “Party Mountain” due to the dirtbag culture and friendly atmosphere around the base-area plaza and town center bars.
- THE BEAUTIFUL
One of my favorite things this season was the shear beauty that is Montana. Only having visited Montana once before, this was a great time to see so many beautiful landscapes that I never could have dreamt of. My photography skills have been improving and I am motivated to capture the stunning imagery that Montana offers to adventurers. The vast mountain ranges and huge expanses provide photo opportunities literally in every direction you look.
All too often I found myself staring around at the landscape in awe. Mountains and rivers as far as the eye can see make for a great setting to spend time in. Wild animals dominate the scenery with bison on the plains, fish and eagles among the rivers, with elk, moose, and bears in the mountains.
Even though I have returned to Boulder for the time being, I will be back in Montana soon. Ski season is far from over here in Colorado; I have 114 days and counting. If you are here in Colorado let’s get after it! But Montana, save me a spot at the table, for I have fallen in love with the Big Sky state.