Sunday, January 27, 2008

Resort Skiing is Overrated

I grew up skiing resorts and have skied resorts ever since I was 5 years old. A few years ago I decided to branch out my skiing to the backcountry as well as the resorts. For Christmas about three years ago Jess got me a pair of used Alpine Trekkers and a pair of used skins. Later that season I picked up a beacon and commenced to go on a couple of tours.

The next year I toured more but probably still spent about 80% of my ski time in resorts. Last year my ski time was split about 60% resort, 40% touring. So far this year my time has been about 50/50 but that will quickly change.

This past Monday Jessica and I went night skiing (she boarded) at Brighton. After about two runs I had my fill of the resort. It was all right, there was new snow, but there were so many people that it was almost ridiculous. If there hadn’t had been new snow we both probably would have said “let’s just go”.

Yesterday we went and skied Solitude. It was better than Monday. There wasn’t any new snow, but it snowed recently so it was still decent. We had fun (especially with the little ‘chocolate scavenger hunt’ type game they had going on at the resort that day) but still wasn’t super stoked on it.

The previous Saturday I went touring up Days Fork with my buddy Matt. It was dead. We saw about seven other people the whole time on the trail. Six were snowshoers who stayed on the main skin track and one was a solo skier we passed once we hit the steeps. The environment around us was absolutely serene. In all we spent about three and half hours worth of skinning to make two laps. It was totally worth it.

I could get behind skiing a resort on a super deep pow day if it wasn’t packed with people. I’ll keep skiing resorts, especially now that we are beginning our family, and it is the best place to go to teach the kids (only one, but undoubtedly we’ll have more). But from now on if given the choice I'll choose to go touring.

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