Yes, there has been a serious lack of snow and many, including myself, are in a serious powder funk right now. On the heels of a hideously epic season from coast-to-coast, in most places, we are finding almost the complete opposite being true so far this season.
So what do we do about it? Yes, you can ride your bike, go for a run or go for a nice winter hike in areas that usually arenâ€™t accessible this time of year.
But you can also hit the slopes. Part of the hangover effect from last seasonÂ is that last yearâ€™sÂ epic snow occurredâ€¦..just last year, so it is still all so fresh in all of our minds. How many blower days did you have? You can probably still countâ€™em as they are still embedded in the forefront of your memory.
But that was last season. Here we are in 2011-12 and are moving from early season to mid-season. The Back Bowls of Vail are not yet open and many ski areas are beginning to exhaust their snowmaking water supplies. Donâ€™t let that stop you.
Terrain parksÂ and pipes have been growing in popularity for the last decade. Each season, more terrain and additional features are being added. Have you seen Northstarâ€™s or Breckenridge‘sÂ 22 foot superpipes built so the man Shaun White could train when heâ€™s on the hill as an ambassador? Breckenridge has always been at the forefront for on hill terrain parks and pipes and now Northstar, I think, is assuming the same role for the Lake Tahoe resorts.
Speaking of which, how wouldÂ you like to ride with Shaun White one day, then head over to Squaw Valley and rip some lines with Johnny Mosley and top it off with a day on the hill Daron Rahlves at Sugar Bowl? I think we could all learn a thing from these dudes.
Learning to ski and ride in the park and pipe will only add to your skiing and snowboarding repertoire. You will be able to use some of these newfound skills when you are out freeriding the sidecountry. If you can land a new trick in the slick pipe, then just think how much easier its going to be in the soft fluff the next time it dumps. And yes, it will dump again.
Have you been on some real carving skis lately? If not, lay off your super fatâ€™s that you bought last year for the mega deep pow days. Go grab some shorty carving sticks and Iâ€™m sure you willÂ give some much neededÂ appreciation for the latest in carvers.
After you have laid some perfect arcs on the morning coudoroy, lapped the parkÂ a few times and boosted some air in the pipe, then go test yourself bashing some gates in the NASTAR courses. There is plenty of fun activities awaiting you on the mountain. Skiing and snowboarding is about hanging out with friends anyway, right?
Donâ€™t waste your season and get out there and ski as its already mid-January.