Steamboat Pilot & Today sports reporter and photographer Joel Reichenberger can be reached at 871-4253 or jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com.
Find more columns by Joel here.
The Steamboat Ski Area opened more than three weeks ago but, for me, this doesn't have the feeling of making a late New Year's resolution Jan. 25.
Instead, with a few days of skiing the local mountain under my belt, I now feel as though I know what's possible and what's not. And I feel as though it's time to lay down my goals - my ski resolutions for my first real winter in a ski-obsessed town.
I want to ski 50 days this year. I know that's only half of what is really considered hardcore among snow bums here in town, but it will be a stretch for me, considering I actually have a job.
It will require skiing just about every day off I have. But to hit 50 days, I can't afford to mess around. That's still more than three days a week for the four primary months the mountain is open.
It means shifting how I view a day of skiing. The idea of skiing 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day with a stop at Slopeside Grill - as I did in my past life as a tourist - has to change. The noon departure is something I must become familiar with if I'm actually to accomplish anything else meaningful in my life during the next four months.
Of course, maybe there is nothing else meaningful.
I need to become a much better skier. I make my way down the mountain all right. I've only had one fall in five days so far this season. It was an ugly but painless slide 75 yards down an icy Heavenly Daze.
One snowboarder gave me a "Dude, are you all right?" And I was. I had plenty of time to come to that conclusion as my slide seemed to carry on without end.
But it's just one fall, so I don't feel too bad about it. Plus, I haven't fallen off any chairlifts recently, so things are looking up.
I want that to continue. The only time I've actually skied moguls is when I've been lost, and that was a brutal affair late last season. I'd like to be able to make it top to bottom on such a run in once piece. I'd like to try some of the runs on the periphery of the Steamboat trail map.
I want, at least once, to be one of the very first people up the mountain on a powder day. It goes against my nature to wake up before necessary, but I want to ski an untouched run that actually looks like the ones pictured on the Steamboat Ski Area's Web site.
I'm usually an "in bounds" kind of guy, but I vow this winter to ski backcountry at least once, sometime, somewhere. Whether it will be at Buffalo Pass or some other hot backcountry destination, I can't yet say. For my own sake, I'll probably try to knock off "Improve" before I tackle "Backcountry."