Doodle and arrangement by Tess Wood.
Let's be real, you have plenty of friends on a powder day. Even if you parted ways on the hill, you at least carpooled to get there or attempted a couple texts to rendezvous. You might decide ditch friends if they're too slow, or sneak off to your secret stash just a couple tree lines away, but we're all still comparing notes in the lift line and creating a symphony of hoots and hollers as we make it down the mountain one face shot at a time.
In recent years. I've come to very much appreciate the act of showing up to the ski area with no partners in mind. To be honest, this routine began out of necessity when, new to town and friendless, I was forced to spend a lot of time hitting the slopes on my own. It was a little awkward at first, standing alone on the tram dock, permanently installed in the singles line and working my way around a mountain I knew very little about. But it also afforded me the luxury of skiing any run I felt like, whenever I wanted. I could ski at any speed I chose or decided on a whim to skip the traverse and get in a few more turns.
Sage Cattabriga-Alosa is a fan of the solo shred sesh. TGR photo.
Solo on the tram dock, trying to look "lost in thought" (or anything other than awkward AF), also invited the approach of new friends. Once, I got to explore my new mountain for a whole weekend with some vacationing Australian brothers (HELLO) after one struck up conversation. As a relative "free agent" I was also a lot more apt to be invited to join a group heading out to the side country because it was just little ole me instead of a 6-some of varying abilities*.
And on the occasion when I don't accumulate ski partners I get some solid time to clear my head. Chairlifts are my yoga mat, the rest for my increasingly weary legs a shavasana, and I'm free to think (or not think) to my heart’s desires. It's been a wonderful forced lesson in learning to be alone; something that, for better or for worse, I'm pretty darn good at.
So if you can't find anyone to ski with, don't let it stop you from getting your schuss on. Embrace the solo shred, and I'll see you in the singles line.
*Please note: These were never strangers. I would not go into the side country, backcountry, or any country with people whose ability and decision-making I did not trust. Stranger Danger is real, my friends.
From The Column: From One Bum to Another
MOUNTAIN TOWN, USA — A ski bum’s clandestine eat-for-free scheme was busted Thursday when resort cafeteria workers noticed the man pocketing an abnormal amount of saltine crackers and condiments. After being detained, the ski bum confessed that he has zero remorse and “can’t wait to get back to crushing Saltine Sammies." According to law enforcement transcripts, 25-year-old Tony Koekkoek had been surviving on nothing but “saltines, condiments and whatever else people left behind on
Jackson Hole's iconic Corbet's Couloir - no pun intended. Wikipedia photo. With the introduction of the Ikon Pass for the ’18-’19 winter season, many locals at resorts across the West have felt the impacts of more people on the mountain, parking struggles, and a general disbelief at the scene before their eyes. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s new president, Mary Kate Buckley, wrote an opinion piece for the JH News and Guide detailing the local impacts of the Ikon Pass at our home mountain.
goes on sale March 5th Ready to unlock your next winter of adventure, the Ikon Pass is back for the 19/20 season with 38 unique destinations and more ways to get you on the mountain. Every lap up the lift means more unforgettable experiences on the slopes, and that means more memories that you can take home. With an Ikon Pass in your pocket you can seek out adventure from west coast to east coast, north of the border and south of the equator, up and down the Rockies, and across the