Saturday, November 10, 2007

Ramblings on Skiing

The past few days it has finally started to smell like and feel like Fall in the Virginia Piedmont. Not a moment to soon, after our long drought and unyielding hot weather. With Fall comes thoughts of the winter, and since I was a kid, that means skiing. The gear is pulled out, bases prepared and edges sharpened, and the first pilgrimage to the local ski shop to see what is new.

Skiing was a big deal for me when I was a kid, and it has continued to be a favored activity, including working the business for four years. The interest continued with my daughter, who started to ski at five, and loves skiing today as a high schooler. This is in a place where snow is scarce and only through the skill of men with snow guns can we even get some turns in. They really do get the snow out. Only problem is it's all downhill around here, as nordic skiing needs the natural snow, only available in a reliable fashion 3 hours west of here.

Skiing has seen a huge decrease in participation in the past couple of decades, 23 percent drop by one report I've read. This has been somewhat offset by a huge increase in snowboarding, which is keeping folks, mostly kids, on the slopes in pretty large numbers.

I plan on connecting with the mountains, with my daughter, as soon as we can, and thinking snow is the first step to accomplishing that.