D. B. A. D.
As we delay our excitement for winter after getting our hopes up, our focus turns to more “what if’s” that have thus far plagued 2020. 1) What if it doesn’t start to snow until Christmas?
2) What if the rotten snow from November does not melt before we start getting consistent snow?
3) What if everyone and their dog buys backcountry gear and heads to the backcountry this year?
1) Well, we may all turn to eggnog to solve this problem, or ceremoniously burn more skis to appease Ullr.
2) When the season decides to kick off, we must begin changing our mindset to step out very cautiously as we know there will be deep persistent weak layer problems lurking in the snowpack for some time. We must continue to talk about this and prepare ourselves mentally to be patient and to go into the season with eyes wide open.
3) Unfortunately, this increased use is inevitable. Retail shelves are bare, Outdoor recreation is at an all-time high, and we live in the Wasatch where millions of people are packed into the space between the Great Salt Lake, and the mountain. So, how do we deal with this aside from crawling in a hole with our nog and writing off the entire season?
The answer lies in tolerance. I once heard an adage: “We are all looking for tolerance, yet no one is willing to give it.” With an exponential spike in users, our patience is going to be tried this season. Put yourselves in the shoes of the newbie. We have all been there, I can’t count the number of mistakes I made as I made my exit from the mountain resort skatepark scene to the backcountry, the worst of which was the awful neon clothing! I wish I knew then what I know now, but I didn’t, and there weren’t many mentors willing to show me the ropes then.
So, as we plan to be tolerant, here are a few guidelines to keep the pent-up 2020 anger from boiling over and ruining the thing we love. We have endearingly titled these: Don’t Be A… Dork (D.B.A.D) guidelines.
1) Preserve pow, consider where you put your skin track, and stack group tracks. Save some for others.
2) Step aside in the skin track. When Team Hustle comes up hot on your six, step aside and just enjoy the spandex view. It takes guts to wear that stuff.
3) Share info. Take a minute to be friendly; share general conditions, and standardized stability test results. Consider how you might feel if you find the party behind you lost a life when simple info may have swayed their decisions.
4) Don’t posthole in the skin track. Just don’t do it, but if you see that kid carrying his resort board on his back, remember Daniel Turner was that kid once until someone showed him the light. [Yes, I once was a snowboarder and I wasn’t even an angry kid ;)]
5) Don’t poach lines. Mutual respect goes a long way. A simple conversation on the ski track can help avoid the gross loogie on your car windshield in the parking lot. Just ask the questions and take your turn.
6) Park reasonably. Be considerate don’t take a mile when an inch will do.
7) Smile (under your mask of course). But seriously, don’t take it too seriously.
8) Don’t pee in the skin track. Take a few steps off the track and water a tree.
Unfortunately, we cannot control the actions of others, bur we CAN create good habits and take the time to mentor others along the way.