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Skiing Alone Is Already Becoming...Well...Lonely -- Ski Rex Says...


The title to this one may sound a little overdramatic and whiny, but there is some thought to it.

To start, know that there was a time that I didn't mind skiing alone at all. I did it quite a bit back in the day. However, it was offset by a ton of days skiing with friends. In fact, I'd have to say that, more often than not, I was with somebody or at least met up with folks throughout the day. That includes days that I was out skiing by myself at the mountain I worked at but stopped in on coworkers while they worked or met up with them for lunch or something similar.

Now, at the start of the current season, I have been out for three days with only one of those in the company of friends. One could say, "That really isn't that bad. I'm not sure how one could be lonely already with the season just starting."

I would agree with that for most years, but this year is totally different, as you know. It's because of those differences that I feel like the lonely days are going to continue.

As a side note, all of my friends that ski or snowboard are going to be weekend skiers and riders, for the most part, this season. That's just how it worked out. It's been a long time since we have all worked for a ski mountain, which made us weekday skiers and riders by default. If you work at the hill it's likely that you work weekends, which is the busiest time off-holiday. In any case, I was prepared to do most of my skiing this year alone, or at least, I thought I was prepared for it. 

You see, these thoughts came about the other day while I was skiing at Suicide Six. I was pretty excited that day. It was opening day for the mountain and the first time I had ever skied there and the first time I got to use my Indy Pass. I was ready to go! I had even planned to make this another day to just work on technique and skills, doing skill drills and such. That's one of the big pros of going alone. One doesn't have to keep up with anyone and one can do what they want all day, with no compromises or arguments. It works out well for days when one just wants to work out. That's what I did and it turned out to be a great day at a small mountain that I would highly suggest. 

Here's where the thoughts and/or feelings of loneliness started to kick in. While in the chairlift line I was met with a common question, one that I heard multiple times that day. In fact, it's a simple one worked question.

"Single?"

Anyone that has ridden a chairlift more than once has likely heard the question, which is just a shorthand way for someone to ask if someone is alone in line and cool with having another person ride up with them. 

Most years that would be fine and I wouldn't have given it a second thought. I'm more than open to the social experience of riding a chairlift. This is year is so different, though, as mountains would like people to ride only with the groups of people they came with.  

With that in mind I told people that I was good and going to be riding up alone. One person took it as me being rude, which was obviously not my intention, and another person asked the question at the same time he was in line behind a patroller. Even the patroller turned around and explained the need for only riding with one's group.

That's when it hit me. Well, it hit me after I got on the chair and was heading up the mountain. I don't have a group this year, for the most part. Though I do have a friend who is in my "bubble", he isn't going to be going out that much this year. I'm the only one in my local family that skis or rides. I also have no girlfriend, so that's out, too. 

It's an odd realization, which is what I'm trying to present it as. I really am not trying to be dramatic or whiny or anything of that sort. It was just a thought that popped into my head. One of the amazing things about snow sports is the social aspect and I, or any of us really, don't get to participate in that a lot this year. Which, when I thought about it, made me feel lonley.

Is that weird? Is anyone else out there thinking that? 

Maybe so, maybe not, but it is something to think about. It could also be a subconscious cry for help because of loneliness that I feel outside of snow sports, which will also go unheard because of how much I mess around about things. You know, like the chicken saying "The sky is falling!" You all know that bit.

Anyway, I think I am really looking forward to a time that we can be social skiers and riders, again. It's something that I didn't even really notice, let alone think I would miss if I had noticed. I'll tell you this, I'm just thankful for those times that I can take a friend or even talk to someone new or even flirt with women. They will be few and far between this year, but still. I look forward to it.

Photo: Me all alone on a chair - Credit: Tim Meyer for Ski Rex Media

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