First Day of the Season
By. Brad Kopitz
If you’re anything like me, you live to ski. Your passion is so great that you begin counting down the months, weeks, days, hours, and minutes until ski season opens the day after it closes. The agonizing weeks of September and early October are where you spend a disproportionate amount of time at work or school (possibly both) checking the snow report, mountain cameras, and staring out the window looking for any sign of a storm cloud or snow-covered peak. Finally, the day arrives and you feel like a young kid on Christmas morning again.
The delightful news of opening day on the slopes hit my ears last Wednesday, November 5. My buddies and I promptly cancelled our weekend plans in favor of a new plan. On Saturday we made the two-and-a-half hour drive to Breckenridge, Colorado for our first runs of the season. We could not have asked for a better, more beautiful day. The sun was shining brightly, temperatures hovered around 25 degrees, and one inch of fresh snow had fallen. Each of us pulled on our ski boots, which were overly stiff and tight from the lack of use over the preceding 6 months, grabbed our skis, and headed towards the Gondola to get to the base of the mountain.
Upon reaching the base we were welcomed with the best surprise any skier can ask for…NO LINE! This is practically an unheard of event on the opening day of the season. Particularly when you consider that there is only 1 run and 1 lift to service every skier that makes it out on the first day. Finally, after 6 months, 3 days, 7 hours, and 21 minutes (see I told you I counted), I was back on the slopes. Turn after turn, top to bottom, we skied on the same run for hours on end, smiling from ear-to-ear.
If my excitement isn’t radiating to you by now, let me just say that there is something special about the first day of the season. I think of the mountain as a giant playground. During the peak of the season, every skier goes to their separate play structure to enjoy whatever they like doing. The pros head to the black diamonds, the cruisers head to the blue squares, and the new skiers stick to the green circles. But the first day of the season is like a brand new jungle gym; a jungle gym that everyone wants to play on. It’s one of the rare times that pros, cruisers, beginners, bump skiers, park rats, kids, and adults all share the same run. There’s no yelling or arguing, just a bunch of skiers who are excited to escape to the mountains again.
For any of you that have yet to experience the first day of the season, it is something that I can only describe as truly magical. So from me to you, I would like to be the first to welcome you to SKI SEASON!
If you have a similar story to mine or any comments that you’d like to share with me or other readers about the opening of ski season, please feel free to do so by posting a comment to this blog.