Well, here we are in mid-January. Santa left us all big lumps of coal in the stocking. Not the nice kind of coal, either. Christmas week gave us the last decent weather we’ve known all season: every since, we – like everyone else on this depressing planet – has been contending with one psychotic weather freak after another. I feel that lately, here, it’s either 45 and pouring rain (on top of ice) or it’s -10 and blasting wind. We’ve had, maybe, 3 or 4 decent days for skiing in the last three weeks.
I don’t say we’ve had 3 or 4 days of skiing. We’ve had plenty of skiing, it’s just been consistently crappy skiing. Ice, mainly. Or slush. Or – as on Monday – ice and slush at the same time. The temp soars to absurd heights while the skies rain tears of misery, and the mountain melts. Then the temp, in a sadly bipolar state, crashes and freezes the melt, thus turning the mountain into an ice cube. I observed to someone the other day that to get New England “Powder” you let the hill melt, then freeze it, and let the grooming cats crawl all over the iceberg for three days after which you get two inches of finely pulverized ice chips, and there you have it: powder. Or powder-ish. Or powdery. Powdery ice, that is. One is either scraping down the hill on metal edges, or skidding down the hill across ice chunks that are as sharp as gravel. Or both. I’ve taken five gouges to the base of my new skis from the snow. Or snow-ish. Snow wears the wax off your skis, but that’s supposed to happen because the wax is melting and contributing to a nice slippery sensation, not because the snow is abrading the bases like a brillo pad.
Sorry, do I sound bitter? Must just be irritability from the constant deafening racket of my skis scraping down the hill. Perhaps I should invest in ear protection.
The next person who recites that hairy old chestnut “if you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes” is going to get a ski pole where the sun don’t shine. That ancient whisker isn’t supposed to reflect a literal truth. And it doesn’t matter anyway – what we’ve had going on is just flat-out depressing. The ski hills are taking a bigger beating this year than any year I’ve seen before, and that includes the occupant of the Number One Spot in the Ski Season Hall of Shame: 2011-2012. The year when the season ended before St. Patrick’s Day, cut short by a full 25%. Usually, when someone utters the words 2011-12 they do it in sepulchral tones, and toss salt, spit, and make a magic sign with their fingers to ward off the Evil Eye. It was that bad. This is shaping up to be worse. I don’t believe my ski hill has been able to get 100% open even one day this whole season. I’m getting savagely bored with the White Ribbon of Death.
Please. No more insane fits of temper. No more rain. No more ice. And – really – no more rain on top of ice. That’s the worst. Do not melt my ski hill again. Stay cold for long enough to repair the damage.
And please, really, please: Let it SNOW.