Blackjack (or 21 Days)

1 03 2011

I’m writing this on March 1st, as we begin to close out a winter where we haven’t had any “blizzards.” Well, not yet anyway. Blizzard is a strange term ’round here – it mostly refers to the conditions we experience (fast accumulation, wind and drifting) more so than the amount of snow we get. Last year we had two back-to-back storms that brought us about four feet within a week’s time, offering us the experience of riding East Coast powder. (After we feverishly dug out of a waist-high drift covering our front door so we could make it to the ski hill.)

That being said, I’ve gotten more days on snow this year than possibly any other of my 8 years on a snowboard. Granted, we live within 15 minutes of the closest hill, but we lined ourselves up for success this year.

The first (and best) decision I made was to not work at the ski resort. For two seasons previous to this one, I took a part-time job at the resort so the Mr. and I could ride for free. Problem was that 2-3 shifts a week there actually made me kind of sick of the place. This year, instead of waking up before the sun on Saturday mornings to stand behind a counter, I was waking up before the sun to make first tracks (and to beat all of the non-locals to the lifts).

Secondly, I bit the bullet and bought us season passes. Good on three mountains. Discounts on 20 others. Enough said.

I also planned ahead and got us a four-day stay at our favorite cabin getaway in West Virginia. Because it’s in a snow bowl, Canaan Valley gets more than 180″ of natural snow each year, and this year is no different at over 200″ so far. We had a blast riding glades and ungroomed trails for two solid days. Kick. Ass.

Last, but not least – I got a new board this year. After riding my Gnu Carbon Select for only 7 seasons, I retired it (to hang on the wall in my office) and got a 2011 Burton Feelgood. I must say, I never imagined that replacing my board would make such a difference. For our conditions in the East it can’t be beat for a freeride board.

So there you have it. I can honestly say that if my season ends tomorrow, I’d be perfectly happy with how it played out. Not that I’m ready…

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