Thursday, December 24, 2009
AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT
Christmas Eve day at the Beav, 2009
While I was skiing solo today, I had alot of time to think about stuff. One thing I thought about often was how thankful I was to be in my current situation, which is hopefully bouncing back in some form from what has been a financially disasterous year. I thought about how strange this past year or so has been and how little time I've spent with my really good friends as everyone continues to batten down the hatches and try and somehow weather this very long crushing economic storm we are now in the midst of. At the same time the phone conversations are still healthy, but the subject has been predominantly about survival, and what we are all doing to get through it. Damn I'm thankful for my job at the Beaver Creek Lodge as Concierge right now, it's giving me a sliver of hope I may not lose everything even though I'm pretty much there. Thanks for hiring me guys. I also thought about where I was last year at this time and how thankful I was today while skiing that I was not on my way to Cohasset, Minnesota in a car for over 20 hours with three people I barely knew chasing something that was never really there. What a long strange trip that turned out to be once I got the inside scoop from the friends and the disfunction I ran into up there, don't ya know, it's damn good to be in my own home this year, with zero baggage. I thought quite a bit about how little all of my friends of the past ten years actually know about me and my past as a skier. We all go rip around on the hill, have fun, laugh, look for face shots and what not, but this is so far from my prior ski life when I lived daily among the highest peaks of Summit County. It's funny how the transformations take place. I thought about how for nearly fifteen years in Summit County most of my life was spent boot packing and climbing with skis on pack to some incredible places, with some amazing characters, three of which are gone now, swept away by the snow's fury on the wrong day at the wrong place. And I thought about my own avalanche episode which I've never liked to talk about over the years because it was just a bad choice on a bad day, after a dozen years of skating around disaster with luck on my side. All of my avalanche
gear was sold within a week, everything, and I never really stepped outside the line again out of respect for mother nature and how she gave me a second chance at it. As we used to say in Summit County up at A-Basin, "all the experts are dead". We did not skin, we strapped em on our backs and climbed, in ski boots, for three or four hours, to ski for ten to fifteen minutes, in some incredible places, with some of my best friends who have been gone for many years now. There are very few photos from those days, there was no digital camera in the early 80's and 90's, and frankly, we did not give a rats ass about pictures because we were out in it everyday, we knew what it looked like, and the fewer people we saw "out there" the better. The treks were brutally difficult, sometimes kicking steps or post holing through bottomless snow up some incredibly steep and then rocky terrain, in every type of weather imaginable, guys taking turns at the front for 20-30 minutes at a time, I was so terrified some of those days building a narrow platform to just get the skis on my feet silence ruled, we all had the same thoughts....and now, I spend my days on the packed groomers of Vail and Beaver Creek when I do indeed ski. And there was something really cool about it today. Nearly every chair ride was with a parent and a kid, and the kids were super excited about Christmas, and it was pretty cool talking with them all as despite the shit snow and butt ass cold temps, everyone was having a good day. So I guess the circle has closed up for me, there are so many facets of my life that so many people do not know about, but it seems like I'm nearly back to the beginning of it. There are new faces and friends and we all have our own circles we are trying to complete. With any luck at all we will all somehow find a way to get through it again until 2011 rolls around. And with that I wish all of my friends and A2B followers a very happy holiday season and a super healthy and FUN New Year. My only request of all of you is to keep it simple, and enjoy the simplicity as I do, the bike, the snow, the ginser, you know, the really good stuff, and hug your kids and family if ya got em, don't fuck it up, make it work, that is the only and correct choice. If you are in a bad situation, do something about it, make it work, eliminate the crap, and to all a good night.