Thu 29 Dec 2011
“That’s a noise,” grinned the Grinch, “That I simply must hear!” So he paused. And the Grinch put a hand to his ear. And he did hear a sound rising over the snow. It started in low. Then it started to grow… But the sound wasn’t sad! Why, this sound sounded merry! It couldn’t be so! But it WAS merry! VERY! He stared down at Who-ville! The Grinch popped his eyes! Then he shook! What he saw was a shocking surprise! Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small, Was singing! Without any presents at all!
For some reason as I pulled into Solitude, the day after Christmas, these words from The Grinch popped into my head. I have to be honest, it was hard to motivate to ski this week. Last year, over Christmas, we were ripping powder turns down Parachute and this year we are trying not to wreck our equipment as we navigate down Easy Street. No matter how hard we have all wished for snow, Christmas came either way. The weather grinch had taken away the only gift that any of us really wanted. There was no powder wrapped up in a bow, waiting for us to tear it apart. There was no “openings” of new lifts and lines. There was just a slight drizzle that never amounted to anything and I had become quite the Christmas Grinch myself.
As all of you know, most of the country has been hard up for moisture. Even my native Washington, who was off to a great start, has been squeezed dry of the wet stuff. The lack of snow is affecting the ski industry as a whole and all involved are casting their gaze upwards in hopes for the gifts that we know Mother Nature can send our way. It was hard enough (as Utahns) to wake up to a “brown” Christmas but, finding the motivation to ski was even harder.
Forced onto the slopes by my family, I begrudgingly crawled out of bed, gathered my gear and packed a lunch. I also grabbed some magazines, Tylenol and apple cider, which I was sure, would all come in handy when I bailed on the slopes and hit the lodge. I hopped into the car with a sour attitude and headed up the canyon. The grey skies loomed overhead and the barren rocks of the canyon walls greeted my hapless gaze. I couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to head up with such a dismal weather outlook.
But then it happened. First the cars…they were zooming up, one after the other and pretty soon I began to wonder if people had missed the memo that there was no snow. I looked at my husband, bewildered. Did the Christmas crowds come to the canyons regardless of the lack of white stuff? We pulled
into the Moonbeam Parking lot and my lackadaisical self became curiously surprised. The lot was almost full and there was a LINE at the bottom of Moonbeam! I couldn’t believe my eyes. Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small, Was skiing! Without any snow at all! Well, of course there is snow but, really and truly, those words popped into my shocked head. There were people everywhere and they weren’t disappointed, or bummed out, they were smiling and laughing and having a great time! All were loving the slopes and they were all making the very best of a not-so-great situation.
And what happened then…? Well…at Solitude they say, this grinch’s heart grew three sizes that day! And the minute my heart didn’t feel quite so tight, I popped on my skis and whizzed out of site! Hahaha, I wished I whizzed out of site…more like my kids took off and I followed behind them.
Silly stuff aside, it was wonderful to see everyone who has come out this week, both locals and tourists, supporting our mountains
and all those who are employed by them. The lodges were bumping, the ski school was packed and the cash was flowing. It was a genuinely, fantastic Christmas break and I am glad that I got to spend this time with all of you out there who love to ski and board and who happily loved (and are still loving) the slopes at Solitude! Merry Christmas to all and hopefully, we see you back up on the hill soon! May the New Year bring us ALL LOTS OF POWDER!