Sunshine sucks. Sure, sunshine is great if you live on the beach in California, if you’re going hiking in the Rockies during summer, or you want the foot of snow in your driveway to melt so you don’t have to shovel it. But when you live in Skitown, USA–aka Steamboat Springs, Colorado–you learn to hate sunshine. The sun laughs at you. It sits up in the sky, puts a huge smirking grin on its face, and emits constant strain on the whimpering snow which sits helplessly melting away on your favorite mountain run. I know you are distracted by the soft, glistening untouched powder in this picture, but notice the clear skies. Yeah its great to stay warm on the mountain, but when the locals are telling you how great last winter was and how much snow they got, and all you do is wake up sweating from the sun blaring through your bay window at eight in the morning, you simply have to shake your head in disgust.
That is why when the snow forecast predicted a couple inches of snow this past Wednesday, I did a little dance in the kitchen and squealed like a little boy on Christmas morning. The whole reason I moved up here this winter was to “shred” some “gnar” and ride the “pow-pow,” and the anxiety I was getting from riding on ice every single day made me want to punch a ski bum. Like the locals say though, you cannot rush Santa Claus–he has to make the toys first.
Learning to have patience can really pay off. Instead of focusing on the snow we were not getting, I put my energy to use setting up my room, buying supplies, volunteering at the mountain in order to obtain a ski pass, and checking out the local hot springs (which is gorgeous by the way, and will be very blog-worthy once I take some pictures). Now, I’m all set for a magical winter and becoming part of a culture that really knows how to have fun.
When the time finally came and those three inches of snow started to fall this past week, the feeling was one of high excitement and emotional relief. It really does snow here. I went to bed that night as if I had an 8 a.m. job, and woke up with a huge yawn, still hot from the sunshine. Only this time I looked outside and saw the fresh snow covering our once black patio furniture, and smirked right back at the sun. Today was to be my first Steamboat “Champagne Powder” day, and I was loving it.
As much fun as snowboarding or skiing can be without any powder, there is nothing like making fresh tracks in loose snow. It flies up in your face, tinges the cold air with glistening flakes, and allows you to glide down the mountain as if suspended on cotton candy. And it is just as sweet, without all that processed sugar. Plus you’re actually burning calories, stimulating your brain naturally, and being social. Either you’ve had your first powder day this year, or you’re going through the same powder withdrawals that come with the early ski season. Trust me my fellow snow forecast followers, those powder days are in your near future, and whether you live in the mountains, the Denver-metro area, or have never even been on a mountain, there is snow out there for all of you. You just have to have the presence to know that although the sun may glare at you on the days you wish there was snow, there are plenty of presents on the way. Catch my drift?
Louie Garramone is a ski bum currently living up in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. He loves chasing reindeer, doing donuts in the local parking lot, and climbing unbelievably high mountains for no reason at all. As an outdoor enthusiast, he loves nature and has a massive rock collection. Read more about his escapades and natural highs, or follow him on WordPress.