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For years, I was a snowboarder. That was my jam. All my friends skied, but it didn’t matter. I could keep up with them. “Snowboarding is a perfectly fine way to schralp gnarly stuff and whatnot,” I’d say. Sure, my skier friends never waited for me to ratchet down my bindings and they had to lend me their poles to get across flat traverses, but I held it down. Then three years ago, partly from boredom and partly from peer pressure, I got back on skis. And I didn’t look back.
This past weekend marked my return to the single-plank arts. It was not a triumphant return. Though my home in Denver was covered in nearly a foot of snow, Keystone, Colorado, had received only an inch or two. Snowboarding in deep powder is hard to beat, but on ice? Not so much. I used to be able to get down any terrain through any kind of snow, but I almost ate it several times on the first run. I’d become use to having the added grip of two edges on skis. Now, patches of ice sent me sliding. Then there were the traverses. Oh, the traverses. I scooched. I hopped. I stepped out of my binding and pushed. Struggling across flats used to seem like a minor inconvenience, but after having the freedom on skis to skate and pole, the flats were unbearable. The day wasn’t a total bust. I was rusty, but I had fun. I got my mandatory one day of snowboarding in this season so I can still claim to be a “double threat,” even if that’s not quite true anymore.