"Dude, it's like a blizzard man" proclaimed the snowboarder in the lift line at Steven Pass ski resort today. Molly and I quietly chuckled at this young man's astute observation. The truth is, it WAS a bizzard. Nearly two feet of snow had fallen in the last twenty four hours and it was still coming down heavy. It was a great morning to be playing hooky.
I have been thinking a lot lately about what I won't and will miss about Washington when we move back to Alaska. I will miss Stevens Pass Ski area but I won't miss lift lines and the hundards of other people who crowd the slopes and track up the snow.
A friend and I recently had a conversation about resort skiing versus back country skiing. His argument was that you remember everyday in the back country whereas resort skiing is just a blur of all your trips to the slope. I think there is a place for both.
Resort skiing is like thanksgiving dinner - you gorge yourself on elevation rather than food. Groomers, powder, trees, moguls...it's all there for the taking and you can get more skiing in one day than in weeks of back country skiing. Back country on the other hand is like fine dinning - a small perfectly cooked steak paired with the perfect wine that you enjoy slowly so you will remember it.
In Alaska I will spend far fewer days resorts but my days backcountry are likely to be awesome. I have to say the time I have spent resort skiing in Washington has made me a much better downhill skier and I am looking forward to skiing terrain in Alaska that I couldn't have skied when I was younger.