I went skiing at Tahoe this weekend. The mountain was fresh off a snowstorm, and the skiing was fantastic. One of the best ski weekends I've ever experienced.
Yet, most of the time, I was miserable.
That's the funny thing about skiing. It is widely considered to be a luxurious activity, you travel great distances and pay a shitload for the opportunity to do it-- and yet, most of the time, you're pretty miserable. It's not quite like hiking, where you're miserable 99% of the time. At least with skiing, there are chunks of time devoid of misery (whereas with hiking there are none). But misery is an absolute staple of the skiing experience.
The misery component of skiing ranges from about 20% on the ideal ski day (warm weather, great conditions, no lines) to 98% on a horrible ski day (frigid, long lines, icy shitty conditions). Of the three factors when assessing a ski day-- weather, crowdedness, and conditions-- weather, and mainly temperature, is the make or break determinant of the misery percentage. On a freezing ski day, people will say they're having a great time, especially if the snow is great, but they're all lying. No one is having any fun when it's freezing. While calling it quits is a fantastic part of every ski day, it is thrilling when a cold ski day ends.
Somehow, I love skiing anyway. I guess the non-misery component is so great that it makes it all worth it.
Anyway the lowlight of this weekend occurred when I was going quite fast through about a foot of powder and the tip of my ski when directly into a bush that was concealed under the snow, leading me to go soaring through the air horizontally. Normally this moment in mid-air would have been a time for self-reflection and an assessment of the decisions I had made that had led me to this point. But I was distracted when my ski flew off and smashed me in the face, followed by me landing eyeballs first on the ground. Then I searched for my pole for 40 minutes. Now it hurts to open and close my jaw.
There is a bright side of this road though. I have a cut on my face from where the ski smashed me that is almost too manly-looking for words.
As per request: