It's not exactly shocking news that backcountry skiing is exploding in popularity. The result is that there's been some conflict lately. One popular photographer and writer on the coast actually started getting some bile thrown his way because he publicly disclosed the locations he skied - exposing some people's 'secret' stashes or something. They accused him of being responsible for their favourite places getting blown out.
The result is that there's a tongue-in-cheek hashtag now - #anotherblownoutzone - it's not a sad reality, it's just reality that there's more an more people out there skiing our favourite areas. Just because some of us have been skiing areas for years doesn't give us some intrinsic right to them, every skier out there has the same right.
So, if I can't call shotty on my favourite lines, how the hell do I keep people from shralping my favourite areas? Turns out I don't need to do anything.
This weekend, like so, so many other weekends, I found myself staying at the Dreamcatcher Hostel in Golden (seriously, if you're staying in Golden, this is where you want to stay, it is NOT your typical hostel) with a pile of awesome people. Outside of the people I was skiing with, there was another guy staying in the hostel who was straight up invaluable. I'm calling this guy 'Mr. Pessimist'.
When we got to the hostel Friday night, we were talking about parking at Bostock to ski the next day and Mr. Pessimist told us that it had rained extensively at that elevation and the conditions would be just awful.
We almost changed our plans, I mean, this guy was saying he'd been up there and was giving first hand info. In the end though, we decided to go take a look regardless. I'm sorta glad we did. It was awesome.
The next day we played a similar game. We went and skied an area we thought would pan out and Mr. Pessimist (and I'm not exaggerating or making this up) drove to the top of the Pass, then turned around and drove back to the hostel where he told everyone that the snow sucked and there were so many people there was no point in even trying to ski.
We parked at the Discovery Center (busiest spot in the Pass) and saw a whopping two other skiers all day.
I love Mr. Pessimist. He's sort of my favourite person right now.
Conditions were straight up fantastic all weekend and Mr. Pessimist did his absolute best to convince everyone that it was awful up there. In fact, he was so successful, he even convinced himself.
Who needs to worry about zones getting blown out when you've got snow snobs who call anything other than perfect blower 'awful conditions'? Or pessimists who insist the 50/50 weather is going to suck and therefore it's not even worth trying? Or the straight up Haters who just love to say that everything sucks regardless?
These guys are awesome! They're so convincing they don't even show up to the trailhead themselves! And the rest of us? The ones who realize that any day on skis is an awesome day and understand the value of just going even if the weather looks iffy? Well, we get to ski crazy popular destinations in near solitude.
Thanks Mr. Pessimist, I owe my first tracks all weekend to ya. Never change.
Grumpy, cantankerous, wildly opinionated and so much more! Getting really tired on skis is what makes me happy.