Looking forward to big season | VailDaily.com

Looking forward to big season

Don Rogers

Whatever it is, I’m finding myself excited about the ski season to come. More so than any of our first three, even.

Something’s in the air, too. Seems most everyone I talk with feels about the same. This year feels special. Fingers are crossed, drought or no.

The magazines whet the appetite for winter. SKI’s issue of top 60 ski hills, led by Vail, with Beaver Creek at No. 5, brings home the notion how fortunate we are to live here. Talk about spoiled.

We kick up fusses as if living in paradise were hell on earth, sometimes, but only when we’ve lost our perspective. The rest of the world recognizes we have it pretty good. How many resort communities would love to have our big, big problems?

In the magazine I see another way we lose perspective by living here. A downfall of Beaver Creek, in the eyes of one visitor anyway, comes in a quote about the resort being “where the snotty people ski.” Huh? For us, this has been the place to take the kids, particularly the younger one, and let them range freely, tethered only by walkie talkies. Vail seems a little big for that, so the Beav has been our family hideaway. Especially on weekends.

We miss out on the vacation vibe of Beaver Creek and Vail, which we’d probably find a bit rich for us if we didn’t live here, pack lunches or hit the deals for lunch, ski on passes gleaned from the employer. I’ll take the benefits of being able to hit the slopes all season, not feel like I have to go from opening to close each to get my vacation’s worth, and play hooky for a couple of hours on good days.

But, flipping through SKI, I’m also thinking for the first time it would be cool to go on a ski vacation elsewhere just to see what that’s like. Upper western Canada, maybe, or in summer head to New Zealand or Argentina. Leave the work and everyday life back home for awhile. Guess that’s what the magazine is about, dreaming.

The other magazine that found its way into my hands, Snow Boarding, is almost unfathomable. It’s written in teen code and I can’t tell the features from the advertisements. Everyone is jumping or sliding on rails. The “stories” are pretty much Q and A’s, prose based on name dropping of 20something stars who work hard to look and talk like ghetto punks. Rich, white, ghetto punks, getting real or whatever. The boy gets it.

I’m old, so I gravitate to SKI, where even though I don’t ski, I can at least understand the writing and learn a bit more about the resorts.

I board, so I like the pictures in the snowboard glossy even if I can’t understand (or care a whit about) the snippets of text. It’s not exactly aimed at me, anyway. The party days are long done, and the last time I jumped on purpose my left butt increased in size about a half over the right one. Ouch. But perusing does add to the anticipation.

The kids aiming to catch up with Dad fuels all this, too. As they get better, they’re more fun on the hill. The boy thinks he has me this year, and that may be so. But I can’t just let him, now, can I? There might be a few surreptitious weekday excursions to prepare for our weekend face-offs.

The girl, well, I can’t wait for her to put it together and keep up. I think that might happen this season, when that potential her snowboard instructors talk about becomes reality. Soon enough, she’ll be passing me too. Not this year, though.

So I’m looking at those dusting on the peaks, seeing promise all around, ready to fast-forward to opening day, hoping for a repeat of that powdery start to Vail Mountain’s season in November 2000. Remember that one? There’s the perspective we discovered we’d moved here for; just don’t tell the boss.

Managing Editor Don Rogers can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 600, or by e-mail at editor@vaildaily.com

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