The very best job for a ski bum is my job- the snow reporter. Hands down. My day starts at 5:30am. (Yes, I think this is a good thing) All is quiet in the Mountain Ops building; it's just me and my coffee. I radio the groomers to chat about things such as snowfall amounts, wind speed and whatever else is going on up there. Then I compile my report. I update the website, do a little phone recording and send out an email blast. Easy Peasy. It is now about 6:30am and the world is just starting to rub the sleep out of it's eyes. I kick off my slippers. It is now time to make sure everything I said is in fact true. I buckle up my boots, don my gear and radio the groomer to come pick me up.
My knight in shining armour arrives and I bring him coffee. As the Pisten Bulley powers up the mountain, we laugh about how lucky we are.
We reach the top of the mountain and the sun is just starting to show it's light beyond the horizon. Or maybe it's dumping so hard that I can't even see the horizon. Either way, this is gonna be good. I push open the door and fill the cab with the exhilaration of icy cold mountain air. "See ya for breakfast?" "Absolutely"!
On the best day, I'm ripping solo down the mountain, sending fresh powder into the air, gasping as it comes back at me and pummels me in the face. On the worst day, I'm cutting tracks through the fresh cord we just laid down. (Okay, on the WORST day I'm just trying to stay alive as I navigate between wind scoured patches of glare ice but still, I'm not stuck in an office)
As I complete my descent, the usual suspects of Subaru's and pick-up trucks are starting to pepper the parking lot. I release myself from my skis. I am now awake and alive. And you will hear that in my next report.
So I hop on the horn again and with fervor in my voice, I basically say "Yea, it's that good"
All that said and done, my focus starts to shift to the Mountain Ops meeting that will take place later in the day. The GM will ask me how the skiing is, and I will need to give him the most educated answer possible. Time to go educate myself.
As I make my way to the lift, a slight sadness sets in as I realize the mountain is no longer my own. But then I see Mike. And Dave. And Sue. All my favorite people are here and that selfish sadness escapes me. We're going skiing!!
For the next 4 hours that is my job- to ski. I have no responsibilities other than to "assess the conditions". I think I can handle that.
In my quest to do a good job, I try to cover as much of the mountain as possible. If the GM asks me, "Did you ski Devil's Gulch?", I want to be able to say "Yea, I skied that. Don't groom it, it's sweet".
All of a sudden, it's almost 11:00 and I have to hurry off to a meeting. My friends act like they feel bad for me but I know they don't. Fist bump.
I do my best to pay attention during the meeting. We talk about things such as where we will be grooming and where we will be making snow. And where we will be dropping ropes in the morning. I need to pay attention; my friends will be prodding me for this information later. As the conversation shifts to upcoming events my mind starts to wander. Where will the rest of the day take me? Perhaps a little backcountry excursion with my dog? Maybe a beer with Tyler? Maybe I'll just do a few more runs first. Whatever- the day is mine.
As I tighten up my boots, the meeting comes to a close. Oh yeah, one more report. "The skiing is still stellar, come on up, blah blah blah, see ya tomorrow".
When the clock says 12:00, I punch out. I chuckle. I can't believe they just paid me to do that.