Summit Up 1-18-11: More stuff about snow and skiing
Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column that’s staring an unwelcome trip down to Idaho Springs in the eye on Monday afternoon as we write. We know no local in his or her right mind would do this trip on a day like Monday was, but sometimes ya just got no choice!
This happens to us a lot, for reasons beyond our control, and we can tell you it’s not pretty. You sit there, looking at the ass-end of the car ahead of you for centimeter after centimeter as you creep along. You keep thinking, hoping that somehow, some way, some miraculous thing will happen and suddenly it’ll all start moving again.
But it never does. Not until you get past whatever kink in the road is up ahead or you get past all the Front Range SUVs gumming up the works (while implicitly rejecting the notion that your own presence in the jam has anything to do with it all. It’s all those other people, right? And besides, since you’re a local, you figure you shouldn’t have to deal with this crap!)
Of course, this is nothing compared to living in a place like LA, where this kind of soul-crushing traffic doesn’t happen just when there’s a big storm or during particularly heavy times on holiday weekends and the like. No, there it happens every day, and it can turn you into a bitter and deranged SOB faster than you can say “Pacific Coast Highway” (which actually isn’t too bad most of the time, since few people really commute on that road).
Traffic. It sucks. We hate it. Wish us luck – retroactively!
On a happier note, it’s probably a pretty decent powder day out there today, judging from all the snow that fell outta the sky on Monday. To celebrate, we offer up some random thoughts about life on the hill:
-It’s hard enough if you live in a place like Breck or Frisco sometimes to motivate to go skiing, even when you have a season pass and can be on the hill in less than 30 minutes from when you decide to go out. So how do Front Ranger folks do it? We figure they must really, really love to ski and board or they’re just really desperate to get outta the Dirty D.
-Why do snowboarders always choose to plop down right where they’ll be most in the way rather than skooch off to the side? Is it related to why gaggles of condo dwellers always congregate in the cereal aisle in the supermarket on weekends?
-Why does anyone need the stupid bar down on the chairlift? Unless you have a kid with you …
(Safety disclaimer: You should always put the bar down on the chairlift!)
… and why is it so hard to let people know you’re about to lower 100 pounds of steel down on top of them?
-Why doesn’t snow taste more like water?
-Why doesn’t water taste more like snow?
-We hate it when you’re on the gondola and someone pulls out something stinky to eat. Recently we were on the gondola at Keystone and some kids pulled out a bag of Fritos, which made the whole cabin smell like, y’know, Fritos. At least they didn’t break out the egg-salad sandwiches, but still.
-Sometimes just standing in places like the top of Imperial Bowl or Montezuma Bowl or Storm King lift is the best part of skiing. Sometimes you almost hate to start skiing down …
-Why do people want to drink a giant beer at lunch when they’re skiing? How are you supposed to enjoy your afternoon runs after that?
-We still don’t wear a helmet but know we should. But we do use our seatbelt while driving.
-We don’t really understand EpicMix or what we’re supposed to do there.
-We don’t care how many vertical feet we ski per day or per season, nor do we care how many days we skied. What’s more, we have no idea how to figure this out. (See EpicMix above, perhaps.)
-You know you’re a pretty good skier/boarder when you don’t really care what color trail you’re skiing on.
-At what point does Copper need to replace 80s-vintage lifts like American Flyer or the Eagle? What about those old quads up at Peak 8 in Breck? Will they ever wear out or can they just keep replacing pieces-parts?
-Will Copper ever replace Solitude Station with a mid-mountain lodge that doesn’t look like, y’know, a rusting hulk?
-Wonder what your average snowshoe hare thinks of skiers?
-Skiing’s cool and all, but what’s with those people who have to ski every single stinkin’ day?
-How many more of these stupid observations can we think of before we run out of steam? Can we make it all the way to the end of the next column?
-It’d be cool if ski areas would put some little sleds or wagons in the parking lot for folks with kids, cuz the hardest thing in the world about skiing with little one is shagging their gear up to the hill. Copper used to do this before the Union Creek lot went away, and Keystone has a few wagons at the gondola lot. But they need more! And howzabout some sherpas out there???
OK, enough of that. We did just get back from our heinous trip to Idaho Springs and back and it took five hours! A new record, as it were, and a perfect nightmare out there Monday night with the double-whammy of awful traffic paired with a nice white-out blizzard on the way back.
Ah, life in the High Country. We love it!
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