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Winter on Winter: Everlasting Optimism

Skiing's crustiest contributor reminds us why we should keep smiling. Really.

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I am a skier. If you’re reading this, there’s a very good chance that you are a skier, too. Unless you’re my mom, who reads everything I write, but who only skied under duress, quitting as soon as my sister and I started linking pizza-pies down blues.

As skiers we share a lot. But the single most important trait that binds all of us together—from the raddest hardcore Jackson Hole bro to the old lady with CADS and a helmet cam cruising Vail’s impeccable groomers—is simple unbridled optimism.

It’s a beautiful thing.

Remember last year, that dismal entity that left us scratching our way into spring on a depleted snowpack? Of course you don’t. You’re too busy waxing up the fat skis for next week’s powder day.

Or November? With its warm fall days and mountain biking? And the endless hours looking at the weather maps on the web and wondering when the hell it would snow, remember that?


As skiers, we are firmly planted in the here and now. What’s the snow like today? How is the mountain looking? What terrain are they dropping the rope on? Where did the groomers leave corduroy perfection? Where are we going for après ski? These are the hard questions of the day.

But while living in The Now is wonderful, skiers of all stripes are always looking into the future. A future that we know will be fantastic. The storms building off of the coast will inevitably strengthen and come our way, leaving meters of snow in their wake. Our trip to Whistler will be the best yet—pow turns in the trees and cute girls who ski better than we do. This will finally be the year that we score a $700 round trip ticket to Europe and get to experience Chamonix.

The reality, of course, will be different. Tickets to Europe cost double that $700 and Chamonix will have to wait. We will admire the cute girls in Whistler but won’t have the guts to actually go talk to any of them. And that storm off the coast? Well, the five inches of fresh it left in its wake is better than nothing at all, isn’t it?

But who cares about those minor details when February is just around the corner and it always snows the most in February anyhow?

As we tumble through this holiday season, a season of good will, good cheer, and good intentions, it’s important to stop for a moment and savor the gift that we’ve all been given as skiers. It’s a most important gift—precious beyond belief—and it’s the reason why skiers are always a lot more fun to be around than those poor people who don’t ski (sorry, mom).

That gift, of course, is optimism.

We know that things are going to get better, even if yesterday was the best damn day of our life, the powder tits-deep and the après ski beers on a Christmas special at the unheard of price of a buck. And if yesterday truly sucked, well that just means things will be a lot better next week, right?

So, with that in mind, I wish you all a good year. The best year you’ve ever had: a year of powder and sun and cheap vacations to Europe and a year of cute girls who buy the first round at après-ski. Because, as we all know, 2013 will be the best year ever.

Here’s to the best year yet and to a Happy New Year for all.