Skiing at every Colorado downhill operation in a single season really doesn’t have to be all that big of a challenge. There are plenty of people who notch more than enough days to cover the lot. In other words, I want you to know that I don’t consider myself some sort of hero taking on a seemingly impossible task that will culminate with the morning talk show circuit.
Let’s face it, all I’m really doing with this self-guided snow odyssey is giving the boys and myself a great excuse to have … yep … the best ski season ever.
But I do want it to be more than that. Like I said earlier, I want to operate outside of ordinary. I don’t want to just pull the boys out of school for as many days as it takes. I don’t want every trip to include ski-in/ski-out accommodations and a hot bowl of chili at the end of the day. I want it to be a little uncomfortable (at times). I want it to be more adventure-like. So I’ve established a couple rules — and might add or delete as the winter rolls on.
As for the school thing, the goal is to complete our crusade without missing any class time. That addendum alone pushed this party from pleasure cruise to Shackleton-esque territory, and forced me to sit down and plan as if I really was putting together some ill-fated expedition to the Mountains of Madness. Over the course of the last few weeks, I’ve plotted countless routes on a map, charted weekend conflicts, and gathered all manner of intel, including opening and closing dates, drive times, and available school closure days.
Rule number two is more abstract, but equally important. We’re going to ski every Colorado resort. It’d be easy to check off, say, Keystone, Breckenridge, and Copper — and maybe even A Basin and Vail — in a single day if all we did was rip one run and then hop in the car and move on. Shit, that’d save us all kinds of time. Snowmass, Buttermilk, Aspen Highlands, Ajax, boom. Done before Sunday dinner.
That doesn’t count for our journey. I’m not saying we’ll go first-chair to last-chair, but we’ll make a solid day of it. And Dade thinks we should do at least one double-black at every mountain that has one, so we’ll add that to the requirements.
An exception to rule number two may come into play at the smaller resorts. I figure if we ski every run they have, that counts, no matter how long (or not long at all) it takes us to do it.