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.
I expect this to become a tradition, at least so long as I never actually fulfill any of the goals I’m about to lay out.
I laid out a series of objectives last year as the ski season got under way, and come April, I had not come all that close to fulfilling most of my plans.
I wanted to ski 50 days. I wanted to ski early when I skied so as to allow myself time to accomplish other things in life, and I wanted to dip my toe into the backcountry, if only tentatively.
I skied 36 times. I rarely woke up early to ski and made it in more often at 1 p.m. than at 9 a.m.
I never made it to the backcountry. The only thing I successfully did was “improve,” and that was a gloriously broad goal.
This year, though, boy I tell ya, this year I’m going to realize all of my goals. I swear (on nothing remotely important).
I can do this. Obviously it’s not impossible because so many locals knock off twice as many days on the mountain. It should be even easier for me because my job requires me to make frequent trips up the slopes of Mount Werner.
Still, it’s not an easy goal. It will require some off-day dedication. I’m going to count almost everything, by the way, including the two days — one at Loveland and one Copper Mountain — I’ve already logged.
I grew up like most of the rest of the country that didn’t live in ski towns. I only spent much time pondering skiing during the Olympics, and for those two weeks, I always was pretty sure I was destined for glory. Nothing like a 10-hour drive to the mountains was going to rain on my parade.
Now that I do live in a ski town, I still expect a similar surge. So, to help satisfy it, I vow to race. Once. I want to train on the NASTAR course in Steamboat, and I want to attend one Town Challenge ski race and not finish last. Hopefully someone crashes (and doesn’t get hurt … but slides well off course) because they may be my only hope.
Hey, a broad goal served me well last year, so it probably will again.
I feel like I made great progress last winter, but I know I have a long, long way to go if I want to hang with locals on the slopes. Among aspects of my game that need the most work: turning, trees and moguls.
They all go together, really. Usually, when I go through the trees, I make a horizontal beeline until I build up the guts to turn downhill. It’s a similar story with my ventures in to moguls.
I don’t expect to get great in any of those categories, but I’d like to improve to the point where I’m not in there so long friends think I’m lost.
Are all these goals possible? Maybe. It’s something to shoot for, anyway.