Gary gives OK to obey 6-inch rule
It finally snowed. At last, it finally has snowed. In case you haven’t noticed, it hasn’t snowed here for a couple of years. Yes, we had some snow, but it was thin and did not last.
My lawn was not even covered a couple of weeks ago. Now – we have snow and it is great.
It started snowing last Friday and just kept snowing. Didn’t stop. It snowed vigorously. It snowed the way it used to snow.
Ski areas were reporting double-digit new snow on the mountains. Traffic started backing up just about everywhere you looked. It was just as it was supposed to be. Snow and more snow.
The snow at the edges of my driveway is stacked up more than 6 feet in places.
My neighbor’s 6-foot-high wooden fence is about 4 inches from being covered. That is not pushed-up snow. That is snow that has fallen straight down and shoved up against the fence with a little help from the wind. The neighbor’s fence is what the National Weather Service and the ski areas should use to measure snow. Does not lie. Does not exaggerate. Truth in advertising. The fence tells the truth. Nearly 68 inches of new snow on the fence in the past week.
I can see The Weather Channel and CNN now. “And near Breckenridge, Colo., the snow against Gary’s neighbor’s fence has reached a record of 68 inches.”
When we have had a considerable amount of snow in the past, driving from Frisco to Breckenridge was like driving through a tunnel of snow. The Colorado Department of Transportation would push enough snow to the edge to give the effect of driving through a tunnel. You couldn’t look to the right or left, only straight ahead. The real mountains would disappear and all you could see were 20-foot mounds of snow plowed to the side of the roads.
It can have advantages. I remember being stranded at Keystone back in the early 1970s on a day there was a serious dump. Deep powder and no lift lines. No one could get here because all of the roads were closed. It was so sweet to be able to ski an entire mountain almost totally alone and with beautiful champagne powder. Funny, I can’t remember many other days like that in the past 30 years. Sometimes you find it at various “back bowls” throughout Colorado but not on regular runs.
When there is real snow like we had this past week, you have to work to ski. It is not like being on a well-groomed run.
It is more like skiing in the backcountry, and when you get to the bottom of the run, you can feel it in every inch of your body. It is exhilarating and tiring at the same time. Maybe 30 years ago, the tiring part was not there.
Someone once said there are only a finite number of true powder days in our lives, and we should seize the day and take advantage of the opportunity. I agree.
I think everyone should be required to take his or her skis and snowboards work and have them at the ready once more than six inches of natural new snow arrives, and then hit the slopes.
I would imagine many of our social services demands would be reduced. Mental health workers would go out of business. People would have permanent smiles on their faces. Grinning ear to ear would be required.
I am not sure what this would do to productivity, but I guess we could catch up after the snow melts.
One regret I have is so many people living in Summit County for so many years may not have experienced what I am talking about.
I will not be like the misinformed and blame global warming, but things have changed. There is less snow normally. There is a lot less snow normally.
I guess that is the warning. When it does snow, take advantage of the opportunity. If you don’t, someone else will take your place in line, and you will have missed out.
Snow or no snow, columnist Gary Lindstrom appears Thursdays in this space. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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