Thursday, October 24, 2013

The coming ski season

Cold winds and shortening days used to signal the approach of the winter fun season in New England. Whatever was lost of warmth and light was a positive step toward freezing the world to receive and retain the snow.

Into the steadily colder world we would go, training steadily to acclimate to winter conditions. You don't want wait until the snow arrives to start getting yourself in shape to get around on it.

Snow would accumulate all winter. The snowpack would consolidate. Thaws might reduce it, but almost never destroyed it completely.

Some people do an amazing job of maintaining their faith that this winter will be a good one. No matter how many times we get little or nothing, the true believers never falter. If it depended on belief alone we would never have a muddy winter. The Red Sox would always be in the World Series,  too.

I have always recommended versatility. If you have several winter activities that take advantage of different conditions you can shift among them as conditions require. But I have to say that raw, damp weather and mud provide the fewest opportunities.

When people try  to talk to me about the coming winter I change the subject or get out of the conversation as quickly as I can. That can be hard when I'm supposed to be selling skis. Since I no longer get to eat the steak it's hard enough already to sell the sizzle.

When I lived in Maryland,  I would watch a usable snowfall melt away in hours before I ever got to ski on it. Now the changing climate has brought the same kind of challenge to this place that seemed so far north when I arrived here. This picks off more potential time slots as more of them are icy or slushy. And that's if they're not open mud.