In recent days I have been struck by contrasts all around me. My son posted a bunch of pictures of 20 inches of new powder skiing at Snowbird on the same day I was skiing on about as little as two inches of frozen granular at Greek Peak. All of that was snow man-made some weeks ago. Also around me beyond the white strips down a few slopes that were open was the dull brown and grey of the surrounding terrain. I did pause once to observe the contrasting silhouette of the hill tops. For the artistic eye the curves and breaks in the horizon were interesting.
Further along the line of contrasts, I recently read an article in the Seniors Skiing blog about small versus large ski areas and East versus West ski areas. There are innumerable contrasts along that line. Small local ski areas do not necessarily get the respect they deserve. My family and now senior friends have enjoyed small Northeast ski areas for decades. A thousand feet vertical provided splendid winter entertainment at reasonable cost. By contrast we would make some trips to the mountains of Vermont and even a few journeys to Colorado. In my retirement and senior years local skiing has dominated my days on the slopes. I am grateful in my geezer years past 60 to 86 to have skied an average of 77 days a year. This would have been impossible without the easy access to my local slope. I am especially grateful for the socialization provided by my local area in the stress of the epidemic.
Big, small or in between ski areas all have a niche in our sport. All have a role to play and while I no longer feel comfortable traveling to the big mountains, I am grateful for the easier terrain next door.