"Oh shit what do I do now."
It's becoming that time of year when local mountain are closing up for the summer. The lifts are spinning for the last days. For most, the ending date came fast. Faster than expected. Weren't there bottomless powder turns just a few days ago? Suddenly new actives pop up that revolve around 'camping,' 'fishing' and 'hiking'. The realization that many winter friends have already left town is hitting hard. This transformation in weather parallels a time in which a ski bum will go through the five stages of grief. Because to the young skier the end of winter doesn't just mean the end of skiing - it means the end of employment, housing, friendships and probably a classic winter ski town relationship.
1 - Denial
I know, I know. You're still holding on to that idea that there's going to be one more powder day. Maybe another bonus weekend. You're set on the idea of skinning or hiking up just to ski corn and grass. It's not over till you say it's over, right? Except with your ex. That is over.
2 - Anger
You're cursing that the resort's national forest service permit is up. You're cursing you didn't get onto the mountain at least 60 days. You're cursing that every goal you had for the season now stands incomplete. Another winter has come and gone yet you didn't send it off that cliff that's been calling your name every. powder. day. You didn't even try to do a backie. Should have just gone for the dub back. Or video of a switch 180 dub back would have for sure put you on the radar. Unfortunately you just broke up with your number one iphone filmer, so there wouldn't even be footage. Life suxs, summer suxs and you're newly single so suxs for you.
3 - Bargaining
Ullr is no longer with us. Snow dances no longer count. Birthday candle wishes won't make a difference. Try as much as you want but winter is gone and done. The Earth is continuing its orbital rotation around the sun and North America is switching gears to longer days and warmer temperatures.
4 - Depression
It's time to use that $15 bottle of whiskey that's been rolling around in your car for a month. Then find the hidden beer cans stashed away as well.. Hey there's probably some vodka in that water bottle so bring it out too. Now invite over some buddies and drink all night on the roof. Reflect back on how the past season has actually been insanely epic so there's no reason to be a bummed. It's summer time so you can even find yourself a significant other without a first impression based off their helmet hotness, ski ability, or instagram photography. (shout out to slut strands)
5 - Acceptance
Once you've accepted the ski relationship with your mountain is over then you are set to move onto the next chapter of life called ~summer~. Time to give those knees or shoulders a much needed break and replace skiing with other (high risk) actives. This includes but is not limited to mountain biking (downhill), kayaking (waterfalls) or rock climbing (freesolo). The #mylifeisyourvacation hashtag will continue to live on through other outdoor recreation.
So... Well... Or maybe the ski season isn't over yet. If you managed to save up enough money during this past winter (unlikely) then buy yourself a one-way ticket to the Southern Hemisphere where winter is just starting to warm up. Or just move to Mammoth, Mt. Hood, Squaw or Arapahoe Basin which will be open late into summer. Whistler for you lucky Canadians and Aussie-transplants.
But once you've finally accepted summer into your heart it's time to enjoy the sun and warmth. However it's never too early to start getting the stoke level high for more winter. I mean sure it's almost May but there'll probably be a spring powder day sometime next week, right?