Why do I count my ski days? It all started when I was ski instructing at Smugglers Notch. As a college student, I wanted to break in to the ultimate ski society – the PSIA (I was so naïve – I did not yet know of ESWA). Oh to wear a ski school jacket and be the envy of all, with the gift of giving snow sports to mere pedestrians. I quickly learned my fellow Smuggs’ instructors recorded their on snow days. It was the cool thing to do, and much bravado came with breaking 100. That was bigger than bagging a private lesson or a $20 tip.
Good times, then came a real career (my high esteem for ski instructing was revised upon review of a season’s accumulated wages), then marriage and children. The combination of an office job and offspring made it tough to get to the slopes. I stopped counting during the toddler days; too depressing with such small digits in ski days. 10 is not a perfect number, it’s downright wimpy for a winter of downhill.
While the kids sidelined me from my favorite sport and sandbagged my ski day count for a few years, they also opened up a career in ski writing that has been a dream job for me. As a new mommy, I started writing about skiing with our kids, creating feature articles about our family ski trips, and the rest - as they say - is history.
Some ski days are so good you want to count them twice – like Cat Skiing at Brundage in Idaho. Skiing at Stratton at the On Snow Demo, I sampled 24 different skis, and thought that should qualify as an extra day or two. Greg said no, each day has to be legal and legit.
Paul Schipper skied 3,903 consecutive ski days at Sugarloaf. It took 24 years to accomplish that courageous count, dubbed “The Streak.” Schipper passed away this February at 85. Aren’t we glad he counted?
Counting your days is goal setting, and getting to that sweet number (whatever you deem as your desired downhill count) is vertical victory. Besides, a big number inspires you to ski on those not-so-fair weather days. Have you ever skied in the rain and found the snow to be surprisingly good?
Klaus Obermeyer, of Sport Obermeyer, had a long tradition of skiing as fast as his age. Obviously the risk increases with your respective age and speed. Count me out, 70mph at 70 sounds risky.
My new goal is to ski as many days as I am old. This has been easily attainable so far, I bagged 9 days to spare this season. I wonder if I can carry forward the bonus days (like cell phone rollover minutes). That would come in handy when I am 82, and it becomes a mountainous task just to buckle my boots and lug my skis to the lift.
I suppose more important than counting your ski days – is making your ski days count!