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Going It Alone - Skiing (Or Riding) By Oneself ...That's Fine - Ski Rex Says...


It wasn't that long ago I came across a post on Instagram that was talking about hiking alone, how that person was good with that, and what other folks thought about it. Of course, I answered saying that I've been on the trail more than once by myself, but I do like having company from time to time, as well. For whatever reason, though, that got me to thinking about skiing or riding alone. Do I mind doing it alone and have I been out there alone enough to even know?

Have I Even Gone Skiing Alone?

Well, I'm willing to bet that most people have gone by themself at least once. For me, though, I could only think of a single time that I went skiing alone. For those of you that follow Ski Rex Media closely on social media, you might remember the back to back to back videos and pictures I posted from a trip to Hunter Mountain in New York back in 2013. I was alone that day and, at first, I was pretty sure that was the only time that I had skied all by myself.

You see, I have always been in agreement with anyone that says that skiing and snowboarding are very social sports. I've always said that it's hard to not strike up a conversation on a ski lift with folks that one might not know, even if a person is really shy, which I have been on and off throughout my life. To that point, most of the memories I have of ski days were with friends, or coworkers, or even trying to get the pretty girl to take a few runs with me. I'm sure there are more than a few of you that can relate to that last one, including those who were trying to get the hot guy to go with them and not the pretty girl. I think you know what I mean.

But as I sat and thought about skiing alone for a little bit longer, I realized that I have been out there on the hill a lot by myself.

More than once I was out skiing alone in the Poconos down there in Pennsylvania. In fact, the first and only time I have skied at Blue Mountain, PA was all by myself. I had also snuck out to Camelback at least once or twice all by my lonesome. But those few times aren't even the half of it when it comes to being out on the mountain alone.

I realized that I did more than a few days alone at Mount Snow, VT. As you may or may not know, I spent my high school years working at Mount Snow, so I had a pass that I tried to abuse as often as possible. A good amount of that abuse was alone.

You see, most of my friends worked for the mountain, too. That's just what you did. So, if I happened to be off, while I was still in school mind you, it was likely that they would be working. We worked the weekends since we were still in school, obviously, so if one of us happened to be off on a weekend day or a day during a midweek holiday that we were off from school, the others would likely be working. I think you know what I mean. So, for those days, any of us that did ski or snowboard would be doing it alone.

Side note, though any one of us might have been out on the mountain alone, we would always stop into the lodges to visit friends. I mean, they are friends, after all. Plus, that's how you get lunch for nothing. Just saying.

Anyway, working with my friends and being off on different days meant that I was alone more than I had realized, until I really sat and thought about it, that is. This includes trips off the mountain. The very first time I skied at Killington, one of my favorite mountains, was all by myself. I had a day off from work, it was the first winter after my high school graduation, and it was the days of the American Skiing Company, so Killington was on my pass. Though I was asked to stop into the Killington Grand Hotel to see what the menu at the restaurant was (I worked in the restaurant at the Grand Summit Hotel at Mount Snow), I ended up skiing there alone.

As you can see, I was wrong at the beginning thinking that I had only had to ski once or twice by myself. I actually went alone a lot. But, having been thinking about it more often, I can honestly say that I'm okay with it.

Being Okay With Going It Alone

As I have said, skiing and snowboarding are social sports. But, just because something is typically social, it doesn't mean that it always has to be.

There are those out there that say we all need some time to ourselves now and again. What better time to take time for oneself than when doing something physical. The idea applies to so much more than snow sports.

For example, recently a friend of mine invited me along on a hiking trip on the LT/AT to go to the top of Bromley and back. It was him, his dad, and his nephew. Since I'm pretty close to that family I didn't have to think about agreeing to go. I just did. After it was over we planned on doing another trip when this group could get back together. However, since then I have gone on two more trips, including a hike up and down Pico Mountain. I also have at least one more that I am planning to do before I get to go out with that group again. I really don't mind being out there alone, it would seem.

Plus, there are advantages to going alone. By going alone one can do what they want, at the pace they want to do it, and the way they want to do it. No thinking, no talking it out, no waiting on anyone, or having to work within someone else's skill level. It can make for an awesome day.

It also gives a person a chance to be alone with their own thoughts, maybe getting a chance to clear the mind. I've done that while skiing, as well as during other activities that I've done solo. Like the many road trips around and across this country I've taken by myself, for example.

Going it alone certainly can be a good thing and I do suggest it to anyone that wants to. As I said, I have been out in the mountains for some off-season adventures and I'm sure I'll be skiing a bunch this winter alone. It'll be fine.

Before I close this out, though, I do have two more points to make. First, I'm not saying that I always want to be alone either. There are many times that I would like company, even if this company is a new friend, or date, or anything of the like. I do like to be social, too.

Second, going it alone is fine a lot of the time, but make sure you are going to be within your skill level when you do. If you are getting into some skiing, snowboarding, or any other activity that would be better to have someone with you for the sake of safety, please take someone with you. The buddy system really can be a lifesaver in some circumstances.

What do you think? Are you good with getting out there alone or are you a true social butterfly that has an entourage everywhere you go? Or are you somewhere in between? Think about that one a little and don't hesitate to get back to me. Thanks for reading!

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