When I first told my boss that I was moving to a ski town, he said

"Really? I get bored after skiing for 5 days." I thought to myself, this

statement here and now personifies the main reason why I am moving to a

ski town. It represents the most common approach to the sport, that of

the typical 'big vacation' once or twice a season. This was the approach

that I was getting away from. As the season began, the benefits of my

new approach became apparent. Living in a ski town was definitely the

best way to experience the mountain.

The first way that this was apparent was in the quality of snow

conditions that I had the opportunity to ski. Skiers like my boss

probably planned their trip weeks or months in advance, which left the

quality of snow conditions to chance. When they arrived, they had no

choice but to ski the days that they had planned despite how good or bad

the snow was. If they wanted powder, they might as well have flipped a

coin when picking the dates.

The next way in which my experience differed for the better was in

regards to knowledge of terrain. Whereas skiers who planned only one or

two trips per season ended up sticking to the groomed trails for the

most part, I knew exactly where to go when the snow was good. Even on

the busiest days, the best lines were mine for the taking and not many

others were there to enjoy them with me. The only way I knew where to

ski was because I lived in the ski town and explored the mountain

endlessly. Also, living in town allowed me to meet local skiers who had

terrain knowledge based on years' worth of exploring. By the end of the

season, I knew the mountain very well and it paid off big time when the

snow was good.

One of the most important benefits of my new approach to skiing was my

significant skill level advancement. Skiing day after day changed

everything for the better. The more I improved my skill level, the more

fun I had. When you only ski a couple of five day trips per season like

my boss, this is something that cannot be experienced.

None of the above listed benefits give much of a different experience

without the final benefit I gained from living by the mountain; high

endurance. Whereas my boss and other skiers who only get a few days on

the mountain per season use their skiing muscles intermittently, my

strength built up daily. I treated the mountain as my gym, skiing

anywhere from one or two hours per day to eight hours per day. By

mid-season, I was able to ride from open to close even when the snow was

up to my waist. This is a huge advantage.

After the season came to a close, I had confirmed that my new approach

had brought me an entirely different experience than that of my boss. My

daily experience on the mountain had become so different than those

vacationing in the style of my boss that it was almost as if we weren't

on the same mountain. If you enjoy winter sports like so many others,

you owe it to yourself to do this at least once. The experience is

unforgettable and priceless.

About the Author

Jonny Ivers is an avid skier and South Lake Tahoe resident. When he is

not exploring terrain for new powder stashes, he is a contributing

writer for tahoelifttickets.net (a free information resource for finding

bargain Tahoe Lift Tickets, and the best rates for alpine meadows lift tickets and prices on sierra at tahoe lift tickets).