How to stay positive during a crappy ski season
As I write this article, I am currently sitting in a small Southern European ski town, looking out the window and watching it rain. It’s about 48 degrees (+9C) outside, and I’ve been questioning my life decisions for the better part of the last month. The ski resort that I chose to spend my season at is in the throes of its worst Winter in over 15 years, or so the locals tell me, and every day I check my Facebook page & the news feeds I am reminded that my former home in South Lake Tahoe is shaping up to have one it’s best snowfall seasons ever in history!
So how, as an avid skier, am I able to stay positive, when I have clearly put all of my eggs into the wrong basket this Winter? The answer is not so easy or straightforward to explain, but my many seasons in Tahoe, especially the bad ones, have conditioned me for this. The broad strokes of my explanation, which you can read further in the next few paragraphs, has to do with self distraction, perseverance, and the willingness to believe that your powder days will come. However hard it is to be patient for them.
The Bad Winter Blues
While we always enter the new ski season with high expectations, sometimes Mother Nature has other plans. Every skier and snowboarder would love for it to snow on the regular from November to March, but sadly that’s not always the case. Many mountainous snow zones around the World are prone to “Feast or Famine” seasons where they either get walloped with snow, or the storms are few and far between. But even on those sparse seasons, there’s always some good ski days to look forward to. The key is to take advantage of them when they come. Sometimes you just need to be patient and wait it out. “Miracle March” does happen, April powder days are a thing! And guess what, while most folks are long since over it and are ready to put the crappy season behind them, you can go reap your just rewards without the bloated lift lines and crowded slopes. Late season powder days are for the hearty few that maintained a good attitude and never lost faith.
So what can we skiers do to bide the time until the storms come? How do we fill our days without luscious powder to ski? Well here’s a few ideas to keep your mind right until the conditions improve:
We can all agree that skiing/riding on the man made snow is not nearly as enjoyable and not having a fresh powder day mixed in every once in a while can be deflating. However, you can make the most of this not so good snow period by doing other things on the slopes that you may have been putting off, such as working on your form, practicing moguls or breaking in those new ski boots you bought. I mean if it’s going to suck a little bit, it might as well suck a lot, and at least you’re being constructive until the skiing gets good again.
Find an alternative activity
The mountains are a place for adventure, and while most of us prefer our primary mountain adventure to be skiing or snowboarding, if the snow is low, then there are usually other fun Springtime adventure things to enjoy! Grab your mountain bike and find some open trails. Wanted to try four wheeling, or a zip line? Now’s the time! Even if it’s something as simple as going to the mountains and hanging out in the local ski bar to soak up some of the ambiance, it’s all a morale booster and can help take your mind off of the crappy snow conditions.
WOrk on yourself
If the skiing really sucks that bad, and you just can’t bring yourself to hit the slopes as often as you would have liked, if at all, then that means you probably have a lot of unplanned free time on your hands. Free time is precious for adults, and the older you get, the more fleeting it seems to become. So why not spend some of your extra free time that you’d normally being skiing or snowboarding, and use it to better yourself. Take some online classes, work on your business, try a foreign language, or even hit the gym a little bit. Any of these are sure to make you feel better about your time spent, and distract you from those powder laps that you’re not getting.
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The mountains are a pretty rad place, no matter how deep the snow is… here’s a few more ways to indulge yourself:
Surf the Low tide
Even on a “low tide” season, there are always a few trails to enjoy. Poor snow seasons are a true test of your metal. If you can ski in crap, then it’ll be all the more rewarding when the snow returns and the slopes are great again.
Embrace Ski town culture
Even if the slopes aren’t great, at least you can pull up a bar stool and bitch about it with the locals and soak up a little of the infectious ski town vibes. A great part of ski culture is the après scene, and what better way to change your mood than to take some shots with your buddies and celebrate that you are in the mountains!
Be a tourist
Even if you live in a ski town, and don’t normally do the tourist stuff because that’s not cool for locals, maybe now’s your chance. Ski towns have tons to offer both on and off the slopes, and if the conditions aren’t great for skiing, then get to hoofing it and explore what other neat stuff your ski town has to explore!
Try a new adventure
If the skiing’s not great, and there’s a lack of snow, then that means Fall and Spring outdoor activities are usually still on the table! So grab your bike or golf clubs… Go 4 wheeling, take a hike! There’s always more adventure to the mountains than just the ski slopes.
I’ll finish this article off with one of my favorite quotes: “Don’t get so hung up on where you would rather be, that you forget to make the most of where you are.” ~Unknown.
Thanks for reading: How to stay positive during a bad ski season
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