Vail Daily letter: My skis are my ticket to paradise |

Vail Daily letter: My skis are my ticket to paradise

Gary Horman
Vail, CO, Colorado

I have my skis to thank because I am far richer than I would otherwise have been if not for them. Richer because of the people I have met, the friends I have made, the wonderful places I have traveled and the indescribable beauty I have seen.

These eyes have had the pleasure of gazing upon the best of nature’s glory, from the glacially smoothed Appalachians with their distant views of Mount Washington to the startling vista of Mount Blanc from the quintessentially European ski areas of Chamonix, France, and Courmayeur, Italy.

No photograph can aptly capture the breathtaking beauty we skiers behold on a ride up the chairlift or while standing above the tree line in the Colorado Rockies. The contrast of freshest white snow against the deepest blue sky with endless views in every direction defies the adjectives to properly give it justice. Importantly, it’s an incredibly humbling experience.

Enjoying apres raclette in Chamonix is something I would not have experienced if it were not for my skis. Sitting outdoors having lunch with friends on a winter day while admiring the mountains and pondering on which trails we will spend the afternoon is unlike few things in life.

The exhilaration of journeying through a Back Bowl on a snowy day with not a sound to be heard is hard to describe and not something to be fully understood unless you have lived it. And lived it I have.

I’ve played upon the mountains of the world, skied the best they have to offer and longed for the day not to end.

Thanks to my skis, I am living proof that autumn is the skier’s spring and, resultantly, winter never seems to come soon enough. And while the daily routine of life takes me in many directions, some of my choosing and others not, when I reflect on past ski adventures and anticipate futures ones, my world is right.

As a skier, I embrace all that winter offers and look forward to the forecast of an approaching storm with the enthusiasm of a 5-year-old.

Yes, I have my skis to thank for most of the great experiences of my life. If not for them, I would not have met some of the great people I call friends, nor would I get a twinkle in my eye whenever I see my wife in the Stetson I bought her all those years ago. The simple sight of that Stetson conjures up sweet memories of an incredible week of skiing and strolls though Vail Village on our very first trip together to Colorado.

While I do not yet know where my next ski adventure will take us, I do know that wherever it may be, it’s never too soon to begin to plan.

Whether it’s the Rockies, Sierras, Alps or some other mountain range, my skis will be there to share it with me just like a good friend.

Gary Horman

Morris Township, N.J.

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