VIDEO: BD athlete Zack Giffin skiing with friends in Washington
Black Diamond athlete Zack Giffin put together this great video of some sweet snow he got into during Christmas 2010. The accompanying essay helps explain the tough choices he has to make when an epic day of skiing cuts into his family’s holiday time.
Every year around Christmas everyone in my family makes time for skiing with each other. It is partly because it’s the time of year, partly because most of us spend any spare time we have in the winter on snow, but mostly because it is the place we can all connect without making it feel like anyone is sacrificing to be there. This can be the one time of the year that I forget my never-ending quest to get gnarly, chill on my game plan and make the point of the day to meet my mom at the bottom. The time I spend riding the lifts with my mother is sacred to me. She has a style that is all her own. With her early 90’s former rental equipment (that she still think of as brand new), LL Bean book bag with lunch for 12 and broken zippers, and fogged prescription sun glasses in a boeri helmet with one ear flap broken so the padding sticks out like a hound dogs ear. She’ll ride next to me and when I point out my lines from previous runs she will groan and make disbelieving noises while looking at the wrong line. When I point out the real one, she will say something like “I wish you could just let me think you were doing reasonable things”. After she has decided that I must want to ski on my own, she will relocate herself to the tap room to participate in her next favorite ski hill activity: talking to young people at the bar so she can later tell me that she met my friends.
For my family skiing together is as much of a tradition as seeing the nutcracker, or singing carols is to some. That is why I feel so bad that this year the snow happened to be so good, and then the sun came out, and it was stable. What I’m really trying to say is, I’m really sorry, mom. I know you understand that I just needed to ski with my friends and make this movie but I promise we can rip together soon.