Whatever the weather: Staying positive this ski season
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — This morning I buckled my boots for what will surely be the weirdest ski season I have ever experienced. It’s easy to feel that way because this has been the weirdest year I have ever experienced.
One constant throughout the pandemic has been the comfort and normalcy of getting outside. Whether it was mountain biking, rafting, fly-fishing, backpacking, hiking (insert any other outdoor activity) or just sitting around a fire watching the stars come out, the outdoors helped me forget, at least for a while, about the pandemic. I do not take for granted that I have the privilege to take these brief vacations while families across the country either do not have easy access to the outdoors or cannot afford it.
Nevertheless, as the ski season drew near, I felt the fear creeping in. Fear of the unknown, fear of crowds, fear of a bad snow year, fear of change. But, change is inevitable.
Maybe it’s the freshness of Thanksgiving in my mind, but I am actively making the decision to have a good attitude about the upcoming ski season. I can’t control the snowpack. I certainly can’t control the pandemic, but I can control my attitude.
I am grateful and lucky to live somewhere with an abundance of recreation opportunities. Riding the lift up to ski Opening Day (Day 4 for me, if you count scooting around on Rabbit Ears in November) helped me appreciate the work that has gone into making a 2020-21 ski season possible at Steamboat Resort.
Routt County Public Health officials, local business associations, the resort and countless other entities have toiled to make the best out of this weird season. I am grateful to everyone who has lost sleep trying to make this winter safe for visitors and locals. We need to keep lifts turning and takeout orders hot to get through the pre-vaccine period.
I admit to feeling a little sullen about the changes to the resort’s uphill policy. I work evenings so was bummed to hear that there is no uphill access to the resort when I would be going. Not only would it keep me from heading up before work, but it will likely add to crowds in the other, off-resort spots I like to hit before work. But that’s just another adjustment I will have to make. I can be grouchy, or I can change my attitude to embrace the change.
So, to everyone who is having a hard time with the changes, that’s OK. Take a minute to be mad, sad, frustrated or scared. Mourn the business-as-usual ski season. Then take some time to be grateful and adjust to the change.
Pull up your big-kid base layers and embrace what will surely be an unforgettable ski season. Do a snow dance and make your gratitude list.
Tips up and masks up, folks. See you on the hill.
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