[Ed. Note: the passage between here and the fold is new]
Anyone who is serious about their skiing understands the fundamental differences between skiing here and out West, in the Northeast USA, as well as in any region with “real” mountains. So, why do we bother?
Early in 2005 myself along with others went to Colorado to visit a relative in Cañon City. The closest ski area was Monarch Pass. By Colorado standards Monarch Pass is nothing special, it is a smaller area in terms of acres and vertical, but by upper Midwest standards it is large. I had longer runs, faster skiing, the ability to get some nice long carving turns, and fewer people.
We returned to Wisconsin, a week later we were skiing at “our” hill. After a couple of runs I turned to my father and said with a laugh: Those runs are not as fast as I remember them, quite simply, my perspective on fast skiing changed, the trip out west had diminished the thrill of local skiing.
Still, I ski locally. Why? Well, what are my choices?
- Move out West (or to the northeast, or to a Europe etc). The First Snow Bunny and I are not considering a move.
- Take frequent trips. Two reasons: time and money, enough about that.
- Don’t ski. Are you nuts?
- Ski in Wisconsin. This is the option I choose, some skiing, even the skiing we have here is better than no skiing.
Yes, the trip out west diminished the local thrill, but there is more to skiing than the thrill of speed. When we stop for lunch and some refreshment in Ski Brule’s Homestead Lodge I am near purring (there was nothing remotely close to that at Monarch); hanging out with my Dad, Brother, and other ski buddies does not depend on the location; the rosey cheeks The First Snow Bunny also does not depend on the location; at the bar afterwards watching some college hoops or a football game, is that nothing? No it is something.
So, the hill may offer no challenge or not enough turns, but there is still plenty of reasons to ski in Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest. See you at the hill!