More Gear Then You Can Carry (almost)

 

More Gear Then You Can Carry (almost)

 

I know a lot of sports have a great deal of equipment involved with them.  I have seen Hockey Parents carrying gear bags that are bigger then the kid playing hockey. However, I'm not sure that there are many that have more then skiing. I'm not just talking about the various types of skies, boots, and poles. There is all the other paraphernalia, much of which doesn't even make it to the slope. The bags, the racks, the boot driers, roses for the wife that puts up with your addiction. In extreme cases the roses are replaced with ½ of everything you own, but we won't go there. If you are lucky and your wife skies, it won't cost you half, but it will cost you double. If you throw in a kid or two you'll be working half of the year to pay for a one week vacation at the mini mountain of your choice. If I took the time to sit down and try to account for all the gear, equipment and doodads I have acquired over the years to deal with my addiction it would be a clear indication that I don't have a life. However since I'm sitting at my bureaucratic desk I'll give it a try.  First I think we should categorize this stuff, there is actual gear i.e.: skis, boots, poles etc., semi stuff ; boot heaters, neck garters,  then there is the stuff that doesn't make it to the slope; racks, boot bags, and after that the stuff that doesn't even leave the house; boot driers, tuning equipment etc.  It all adds up to a substantial investment, especially if you have a family that skies, for a three to four month/year sport, where the price to actually use all this stuff is semi prohibitive.

 

You not only have to pay for all this gear, you have to haul a substantial portion of it up to the mountain from lot #72 East, across an irregular ice covered surface just in time to miss the refrigerated shuttle. Not to worry it will be back in about 30 minutes. During this time anyone you brought with you (wife, kids) will be saying supportive and soothing things like; I'm hungry, it's to cold lets just go home, I think it's going to rain, I told you to drop us off at the lodge (which at this point seems like a good idea). Once the truck/shuttle mercifully returns the "supportive people" as well as 10/20 other  people will all be clamoring to get up the ice covered metal grated steps for the bone chilling, bone jarring, death defying, agonizing slow, stop and go trip to the aforementioned lodge. Clamoring up ice covered steps is one thing, but doing it while in ski boots and dragging most of the gear, food and credits cards necessary for a successful ski trip, can be the most athletic endeavor of the day. It requires balance, strength and determination, almost as much as it does to get off the shuttle.

 

Once you arrive at the aforementioned lodge you must find an appropriate place to leave all this gear, the skies and poles are locked up outside, the bags are in a locker or a cubby, or just under a table the credit cards remain with you because while your family is inside struggling with their boots, you go stand/freeze in a long slow line to spend a small fortune getting lift tickets for the aforementioned supportive people. Now buying lift tickets is painful enough in its own right, but when everybody is paying with credit cards (because nobody carries that much cash) and the mountain with the $6 million lift is still using dial up for their computerized cash registers, it can move slower then a glacier before global warming. However you are getting close now, you may even be able to see the slopes from the ticket line. Once you have the tickets in hand and well worn credit card back in your wallet you are now ready to use some of that plethora of gear you dragged up from lot #72 East.

 

 I imagine that when the early down hill skiers/miners/trappers went out they just strapped their long wooden skis to their work boots and let it rip. Now days it's a little more complicated. Modern technology has altered that process just a bit. First we need the weather information in order to determine what layers to apply, is it cold enough for boot heaters or boot covers, how bright is it, or which lens do you need for your goggles/sunglasses, do you need rain gear, what's the snow like, which skies do you need, do you go with a helmet or just a hat, spring gloves or winter ones with liners, neck gaiter, sun screen, phone, radio, ipod, and of course credit cards. And that's just you, if you have kids to gear up it's a whole other deal.

 

Once everybody is appropriately geared up and you walk out the door it all becomes worth while. Some days may be better then others, but actually getting out there watching your family have a good time as they say is priceless, expensive, but priceless.

Operations Shots