Thoughts on Winter to date, russ brownback|
The early stages of the winter of 2011-12 will be remembered for many things - The durable rise of SU hoops to the top of the national rankings, the epic collapse of presidential hopeful Rick Perry, and the playoff heroics of Tim Tebow come to mind. But perhaps the lead dog in the early-winter headlines is the distinct absence of winter.
Mother nature, where for art thou?
Indeed across this great nation, ubiquitous audible groans are perceptible for a deficit of the very worst kind - a deficit in white gold, Utah-tea, mother nature's champagne, call it what you will. Yes, the lack of skiable snow pack is the sad story line thus far for hearty winter lovers from Colorado to Vermont during late 2011 and early 2012.
So what is a small, volunteer-only, 1950's vintage upstate New York ski club possibly able to do about this national tragedy? Just ask ANY of the dozens of rosy-cheeked youngsters who clogged the man-made ski knolls BOTH days this weekend. Or simply query the multitude of adults of all ages who emptied coolers of lunch, "etc." as they happily looked upon bands of sledders, jump builders, and snow football players for HOURS and HOURS both sun-filled days. Yes the scene this past weekend exemplified some of the finest qualities of YOUR club. Suffice it to say, Many, many, many, people made lemonade out of lemons.
It's impossible to point to a single individual that made this magic. Perhaps it was the momentum created from Jeb Benzig's brilliant sign contest. See for yourself more than 15 amazing, creative, hand-made trail signs that represent literally dozens of hours of effort on the part of multiple club members, all of which are proudly on display in the A-frame. Truly, time is better spent contemplating these diverse art works than a long afternoon at the Everson.
Or, point to the amazing ongoing efforts of the dedicated lift and grooming crew who, despite a demoralizing 10-day weather forecast spent countless volunteer hours this past weekend tweaking the "guts" of the club to ensure that when Mother Nature does finally show (she will) that we're ready to go. Special thanks to Jim and John King, Mark Stevens, Tom Talbot and ALL of the others who were definitely there but buried beneath greasy carharts and stretched come-alongs such that their ongoing presence was not evident (sorry if I missed you).
And of course, muchos gracias to Jeff and Liz Cobb for their AMAZING, and selfless ongoing efforts. For those who don't realize it, Jeff represented much of the recent snow making initiative. He envisioned it, choreographed it, and did a ton of the heavy lifting such that those dozens of happy-faced, dog-tired, red-cheeked youngsters who fell asleep happily on the family sofa both Saturday and Sunday at about 6PM have him to thank. Moreover, it was Liz's inspiration to realize that the handful of six-foot deep, man-made snow drifts represented unadulterated bliss for those would-be skiers that were sitting at home jonesing for winter's onset. Thanks Jeff and Liz for all you do!
On the heels of this amazingly fun weekend, it's time to throw down the gauntlet to Mother Nature. Can she really suppress the pent-up energy of our membership? Can she prevent us from organizing dry-land deck parties, or organizing a sign judging contest, or holding blind-folded, up-hill sprint races (Sorry, I got caught up in the excitement)? But seriously, can she prevent the chili cook-off, or a full house at the Dino bash that's officially ON for Feb 4th featuring Jay Dyer?
Of course not!
In fact, the more we ignore Mother Nature and simply go about the business of enjoying the unique camaraderie that our club has come to represent, the sooner that stubborn old bird will relent and begin to dump her goodness upon out beloved slopes.
In the mean time, catch the fever, lend a hand, thank our hard working volunteer leaders, and GET PUMPED!