Every day I click in and make a turn has typically been a memorable one. Through rain, powder, ice and spring corn, where parking lots come alive to rejoice as the season slowly slips away. Sliding around on snow clears my head and brings clarity to my life as I imagine it does for many of us that frequent here to converse about everything that skiing is. From the trolls, to people that contribute continuously on this site, we all love to ski for whatever reason that is and there are many. We all have our ups and downs and life goes on but at the end of the day skiing is what brings us all together. Whether we like it or not I think it’s safe to say for the most part we’ve all fallen in love with this sport.
Car camping at Mad River Glen in Vermont during late January after 22 inches of fresh snow
Over the past year, that being my senior year of college, I was determined to catalog my ski season just as I had the previous 20/21 season. My goal was to make it an especially memorable one as I was going to be the freest I had ever been to ski. I wanted to wrap all the memories that I would gain and stuff them into a bag so that whenever I wanted, I could open and peep in to admire the experiences and see how I grew as that year progressed. From skiing hardpack manmade snow to powder days and finally to the glorious long days of spring corn, sunburns and parking lot parties every year eventually starts to flow together and only bits and pieces of the best highlights will eventually remain like scraps of a forgotten time. As the years roll on this becomes more and more evident and I imagine it resonates even more as we grow and age.
Aidan Naughton looking up at one of the larger icefalls from the day
For me it was important to consume all of these memories and experiences and put them in a place to remember. So, I spent every day after skiing writing them all down. At the end of year, I compiled all the pictures I had and got prints to date and write short notes to reference my writings as a visual log of the day. Now I’ll forever have those experiences to look back on. Maybe you’re not sentimental about experiences and you just let your mind hold onto whatever pieces it can. Although it takes only a short time to write stuff down, it’s taxing especially after a long day in ski boots and a face full of windburn never help either. If that system works for you that’s fine. But what we remember now about the last season will quickly fade as we tear through the upcoming one creating and sharing a plethora of new times. I for one don’t want to remember the vague generalizations but rather the entire thing. One of the things I also do is make short videos. Clips I compile of my day whether there’s skiing in it or not and throw it on YouTube and often New Schoolers as well as an artifact of time to rewatch. Sometimes I write notes about conditions and weather, what to wear on what sort of day and how different sections skied pending on crowd levels as to have the knowledge for the next season. Other times Its more about how I felt and less heady then reading about why skiers left is better on a given day. The reality is most days are somewhere in between, which seems to make the most enjoyable experience to look back on.
Me enjoying some spring corn at Mad River Glen on the first warm day of the season
Writing, pictures and videos are just a few ways to collect our memories. There’s plenty of others such as the taste, smell and sounds. One that sticks out to me will always be a post session beer on the deck at Mad River Glen telling stories of the day to anyone that will listen and hearing them share theirs as we reminisce and relish in the day as its falls behind us giving way to dusk. Skiers slowly trudging back to their cars through the slush, backing everything up and just like that it’s gone. Sometimes it’s music, certain songs take me back to different days and experiences at various mountains where I associate them the different feeling that come out of a day of skiing. On occasion even temperature or smell such as a day of spring corn and grilling the first burgers and hotdogs in the parking lot until me and whoever hangs around it are burnt to a crisp. Not only this but we all eventually have to work our way through the ups and downs that life will throw our way whether its mentally or physically I’m sure we’ve all been there. At the end of the day, I’m a firm believer in chairlift therapy, for any issues that come my way sitting on a lift swinging my feet and listing to the Grateful Dead roll through a set brings be clarity and helps me digest life and all its complications which we are all aware of in our own ways.
Ski trips are always particularly fun especially with a huge group
In the end the way I often reminisce is through the snapshots I take as each day passes by trying to make something significant of each moment. I also have a bin full of season passes and lift tickets as a reminder of the day’s past. Eventually the days and years will fade to decades and a lifetime. We’ll be ecstatic to be able to remember and read over what we’ve recorded. Eventually those stores will rest but for now they’re ours and that’s what makes them special.