there is something magic about little home town ski resorts and the people that love them.
yesterday i wrapped up my last season at my home mountain. ive been dreading having to say that sentence since november. im going to school in colorado next year and I should be excited as fuck. reality is this little NY ski area has really grown on me. i grew up skiing and my family was fortunate enough to inherit membership to an uptight prickfest private resort called holimont. problem with skiing at small places is you get bored fast. about 6 years ago i started hitting the park jumps. i would watch kids from the lifts doing corks and hitting rails and i was determined to be just like them. the following year i turned 13 and blew up my left knee trying a 360. at that point i gave up. it wasnt worth it thought. I came into last season ready to get back on the grind. I had saved up washing dishes and bought a pair of shot line chronics I was determined to get good on. I was done being a pussy i thought. it was gonna be my year. it started with the right people. in the few seasons I had given up, all the rippers had moved on and the park crew had reduced to lazy smokers who didnt even ride. however with a new general manager came new regulations and a new park crew, helmed by a local legend park builder. After meeting him and realizing he had big eyes and a hard working attitude I knew that it was the start of a new era.
after several injuries and an early end to the season i was kind of bummed. I didnt have much to show for last season except my new best friends michael and ian who i had bonded with in the park. all summer i worked out and trained and got ready for my last season, i knew i had to make it a good one.
kids started coming up to me this season, calling me "purple" (referring to my purple jacket). they wanted to ride up the lift with me and ski with me and i made sure to be as inviting as possible and show them the ins and outs. before i knew it there was a crew of young kids breaking skis and sharing smiles and learning tricks. I was so humbled and amazed this season. I felt like it had come full circle. I was now the kid doing corks and hitting rails and they were watching from the lifts thinking thats what they wanted to do. just like that it had gone from 3 guys to a whole crew of kids of all ages who were learning how to hit rails and spin jumps.
sadly it is now my time to move on. i posted a tribute on my instagram story and I was totally amazed by the amount of kids wishing me luck at school and saying how much theyd miss me. I was almost in tears. what will stick with me most, however is a 6 year old kid named will. I invited him to ride up with us on the quad chair after his older brothers has ditched him in line. after a few runs of showing him around the park with my buddy Ian, he began trying to hit smaller features. he skied with us for several weekends and at one point asked Ian and I for our autographs. I told him he didnt want our autographs because in no time he would be way better than us. I told him to always be kind and to always help the people around him get better too, just as i was learning this season. He smiled and laughed and then he gave me a hug. later that day I was approached by his parents. they said to Ian and I how much little will had been talking about us and wanted to be just like us. they thanked us for keeping accompanying little will even though we were complete strangers to them and to will. I was literally almost in tears.
for the brave few that made it to here, thank you. its been really hard getting ready to move out. i will be moving away from friends, family, pets, jobs... But the thing i will miss most is the community at this little ski resort. the kids just like me that are going to achieve things i cant even dream of trying here. the kids that did exactly what I did and are fired up about skiing. im so grateful to have all of these people and this small quiet town and resort in my life and I hope I can visit often. I hope this inspires others