The Choice is Your

bored -- Boredom or excitement the choice is yours. A sign.
How do you cope with ski boredom?

Gregg at Slopefillers put this out on Twitter:

I’m becoming more and more convinced that the only reason some people get “bored” at smaller ski areas is because they’re expecting to.

Read the image for the ensuing brief conversation.

bored -- a twitter conversation between myself and @Slopefillers
On Further Reflection

On further reflection I am going to back off somewhat on my disagreement, but not fully.

Bored — My Status Quo

I grew up in Wisconsin and lived here for all of my life except for six years when I was resident in the UAE. My wife and I built a home here and moved into it nearly nine years ago. With few exceptions my close family is all here (with some in Montana and some in Florida) too. My parents own a lake property “UpNort” which serves as the base from which we sortie out of for our ski excursions. A ski resort is about a half hour drive away from that cabin. Guess what? About 90+% of my skiing is done at that resort.

Do not take this article as a knock on that resort. The resort does a great job of keeping good snow conditions they work hard to be the first and last to open and close every season and the staff there is friendly and attentive. The crowd they attract too are skiers of every level and I don’t recall ever seeing any bad scenes due to obnoxious guests.

However, I’m bored of it maybe not so much because it is boring (LOL ask the patrollers at another regional resort about that) but because it is my status quo.

It is rare I do get to other resorts (today as I write this, I will be making an exception to this!). This is probably why I answered with a quick and strong disagreement.

Bored — On Further Reflection

I love that cabin my parents have. We built it, I remember clearing the land, building the floor, pouring the concrete for the pier pads (which are now gone), putting the place back together after the basement construction, and building the chimney chase. Lots of good memories with the parade of people I’ve loved and do love marching in and out of the place. However, it does tie me down in terms of skiing and exploring our region. Instead of taking a trip to the other resorts in our region we default to the cabin and the nearby resort.

I get breakfast, I hit the resort later than I want and in about two hours I have skied around the resort. I take a break by heading out to my truck, turning on XM-Sirius, and eat my brown bag (or in my case green-bag) lunch. During lunch I have some water and head back out for another few rounds. The day finishes skiing the frontside blues and blacks. I try to mix it by varying my lines, by focusing on one skill or another, or by working on some new technique. I ride the last chair, go inside change out of my ski gear, and I might patronize the bar but usually I’ll head straight to the party of the night. That usually involves Filipino food, good friends, and few good beers. Sometimes it is back to the cabin, sometimes we’ll spend the night at our friend’s place.

Repeat every two weeks during the ski season and vary in the summer with a Saturday 40-100 mile bike ride.

Bored — And So

It does seem it really is not so much the lack of ski-hill diversity that is getting to me but the fact I tie myself to one hill. This is a theme that surfaces in my writing from time to time. In the past I’ve likened season passes to eating only at buffets and while it has been a long time since I’ve held a season’s pass anywhere essentially I ski on a season’s pass.

With a buffet you often overeat because you can and you are determined to get your money’s worth and so too with a season’s pass. You count the trips till you your per-trip cost is less than a day pass.

So my boredom really is not something intrinsic to the region I find myself in. In fact, the time I skied another local resort gratis I was full of excitement about this resort (this is the one I’m going to today) and their steeps did challenge me which I’ve since conquered and am anxious to take on again! Plus I’ve not skied in my state or even in MI West of I39 (well, I’ll be west of it today but only by about a mile or so).

Bored — Breaking out of this Cycle

I will never stop skiing at “my resort”. But, instead of buying six pre-season passes maybe I’ll only buy three (like this year). I know I can always turn to Craig’s List if I need to pick up some late season passes. I’ll also start to always buy a pass or two to some other resorts and every year I will strive to visit a ski area I have never been to before. Last year it was Lutsen and this year it will be a trip with my cousin to Whitefish in Montana.

In addition, I will seek out different challenges at “my resort”. There is one headwall at my resort that the resort leaves wild I want to be able to ski that. When there is deep snow I will make the extra effort to get first tracks. I will start to ski the sides of the main black (again, left wild).

Bored — Still

Wisconsin Ski Resort -- Devil' Head
Not Steep, Not Deep, but Still Fun!
Still, I am craving new sights and scenes. I have a photograph I snapped from a resort near Madison and the scenery thus photographed does not appear significantly different from any of my other photographs snapped elsewhere. The runs are generally of the same character, groomers with slight to moderate pitch and perhaps a few runs with challenging pitch. The refreshing change at this place was a vibrant apres-ski scene.

I do attribute some of the boredom to the region. Mind you no one can do much about the geography or the weather.

Bored — How About You?

Do you find your skiing boring? How do you fight it?

Good Stuff!


  1. Great reply. I think what’ interesting is the theme of your header image that points left for boring, right for exciting. What I’d like to suggest is that the boredom/excitement question isn’t an either/or but a spectrum. Toward the middle would be something like “simple but still fun”.

    If I’m reading your voice right when you say “bored” probably mean something closer to “simple but still fun”. Is it as exciting as that big headwall? No. Is it as boring as watching your neighbor mow his lawn. No. It’s still fun enough to do over and over again, but still leaves a little to be desired.

    I think it’s that sentiment of true boredom that I’m getting at. People worried that by going to a small ski area they’ll be nodding off mid-turn because of sheer lack of anything resembling fun. Instead, small ski areas are really fun. Are there places with more fun or more excitement? Probably. The opposite of excitement may be boredom but the opposite of big resort skiing isn’t small resort skiing, it’s not skiing at all.

  2. Gregg, thanks for starting the conversation and thanks for reading and commenting!

    I think you are right. I skied Monarch around Salida CO over a decade ago and on returning I noted how the “home hill” seemed slower, but it did not bother me and I continue to ski at the “home hill”

    My brother tells a story about some people he met originally from the area. They moved out west and vowed they would ski around here on return visits. Apparently that never panned out that way they don’t bother with the skiing around here on return visits. Oh well.

    I’ll tell you what though, when I am at the local resorts the only boredom I see are from the non-skiers in the lodge waiting for their loved ones to get done with the day (and even then, resorts are working to them engaged too). There is lots of fun being had, lots of laughs, and lots of excitement going on.

  3. I’m a season pass holder at a big resort (Park City) and we had a great snow year. I think if I had the resort to myself I’d never get bored but I do sometimes find myself dragging when I think about waiting in the lines. Sometimes if the parking lot is full, I just turn around because I know the lift lines are going to be atrocious. I go to the smaller resorts nearby a few times a year and I love being able to do speed runs without so much waiting.

  4. Hi, thanks for visiting my site and reading.

    I hear ya, we go to ski resorts to ski and not wait in line. I don’t blame you and being around so many luscious ski resorts you have decent options.

    As it turns out, the ski trip I took to Montana restored the ski-joy and while my home resort paled in comparison, I was skiing it differently and I focused on making one good turn and repeating. What are my options? Stay inside on my butt? At least now, it is reasonable to get out and ride my bike, but it is skiing that is my first love.

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