Diary of a Ski Patrolman: The Beginning
Riding up the lift this morning was a spectacular experience. Near the summit, the clear air turned into a fine mist of snow, completely obscuring my surroundings. I couldn’t even see my hand in front of my face — that’s how dense the snowy mist was.
Of course, it was being blown into the air by snowmakers, but even so, it was awesome. Many people look down on “fake” snow, but after skiing on pretty much only manmade snow for the past two weeks, I have to say it works just fine. Okemo now has trails on all four areas open, and that’s because of the efforts of the snowmakers and the power of their machines. In less than one week Okemo has nearly doubled its terrain. Sure, Western mountains might get huge snowfalls, but they don’t have the ability to produce snow when there’s none falling the way we do in the East.
Coming out of the manmade snowy fog, I was greeted by the sun off to my left, and a clear view of the town below, and the endless mountains of Vermont stretching into the distant horizon. Totally unexpected, and completely beautiful. Moments like that, I think, are why people want to work and play outside in the first place. Sure, we expect to have fun and work hard as patrollers, but at the end of the day, or the beginning, sometimes there are moments that outweigh and defy those expectations altogether.