When it comes to grading conditions, we’re all guilty of inflation. As skiers and snowboarders, we’re bad at fessing up to sub-bar or even downright miserable conditions.
Instead, we tell our friends and family about our ski day using a highly selective memory. Maybe we pump up the day’s activities using social media. Perhaps it’s via group text with our friends, where photos of manufactured, groomer faceshots go ding, ding, ding.
Moral of the story, skiers have a difficult time conceding that we just drove to the mountain and spent several hours sliding precariously around on boilerplate, blue-ice.
Lets us quickly examine this unfortunate phenomenon.
We all go through quite a bit of effort to spend a day out on the slopes. The bulk of skiers live near major cities and getting to the mountain is an involved process that occurs on an almost daily basis. Between gathering ski gear, loading up the car, and driving to and from the mountain, skiing is a several hour endeavor. In addition, we all live busy schedules and some of us have a finite amount of days on the hill per season. Come hell or high water, we’re going skiing.
Given the shear amount of time spent getting to the mountain, it can be difficult to admit the conditions are sub-par. Those chairlift texts from friends sitting at home, asking about the snow doesn’t make being honest any easier.
With the amount of effort you spent to get to the mountain, it isn’t always easy to tell your friends “man, it really sucks” or “I wish I brought my ice axe.” Instead we tweak those responses by saying the snow “could be worse” or “actually not as bad as I thought it would be.”
At its core, the problem lies in that many people find it difficult to realize that good skiing and good conditions are not mutually exclusive. It’s possible for us to enjoy ourselves at the mountain without the conditions or weather cooperating. It’s okay to admit it when the snow conditions resemble a bobsled track.
Who said ripping bulletproof groomers can’t be fun? The added challenge of navigating your favorite couloir with locked-up moguls is good for your skiing. And even if it’s just a couple good turns on a buffed out groomer, the day turns out to be “better than I thought it’d be.”