The storm rolled in on schedule Thursday morning. Dark clouds. Dropping temperatures. The forecast had called for 10 inches that day; 21 inches on Friday; and 9 more that night. My 3-day trip quickly stretched into an 11-day epic. My phone was buzzing with hyped-up marketing emails from local ski areas and texts from friends—
'You still here? Tomorrow is going to be all time.'
The plan was to wake up at 6, meet in the grocery store parking lot by 7, and be in the lift line when it started spinning. This was it! Until I blew it.
And now, by following these 15 easy steps, you too, can totally blow it on your next powder day! Here's how!
1. Start by not packing up your car the night before. Instead, leave your skis at your friend's house, requiring you to drive 10 minutes in the opposite direction to pick them up.
2. Before you go to bed, make sure your phone is charging. By accidentally setting your alarm for 6 p.m. instead of 6 a.m., you can wake up to the heart-stopping realization you've over-slept which means getting dressed in a tornado of merino and Gore-Tex and stubbed toes in a dark room. There will not be time for breakfast.
3. Do a quick mental checklist before leaving the house: skis, boots, poles, helmet, goggles, gloves, buff, ski pass. Check. Phone, wallet, keys. Check.
4. Lock phone, wallet, keys in the trunk of your car.
5. Wake up your friend's boyfriend with the barking dog to borrow his phone to call your friend to tell her the carpool is off (sorry!), Google the number for AAA. (No, sir, I don't have my account number that's on the keychain of my keys that are locked in the truck.)
6. Wait 55 minutes for Merle's Towing to arrive.
7. Make scrambled eggs for breakfast. Now that you have time.
8. Floss. Now that you have time.
9. Let your friend's boyfriend's dog out for a walk. Now that you have time.
10. Hold the flashlight for Merle while he slides a metal rod behind the glass of your passenger-side window to unlock your 11-year-old Subaru, and wake up the whole neighborhood with the car alarm while you search for your keys in the trunk.
11. Race to the base of the canyon just in time for it to close to uphill traffic. Wait 55 more minutes. Debate going home. Obsessively refresh Instagram to see what you're missing.
12. Crawl up the canyon only to be told the parking lot is full. Bribe the attendant with a leftover donut to let you through anyway. Pull into the third row. (Who already went home?)
13. Discover that, due to snow, there's a late open. No lifts are spinning yet. Get in line behind the folks who have been standing there for 2 hours. Wait 6 minutes.
14. Load the first round of lifts with Max, who was second in line this morning, until he had to go back to the condo for his forgotten ski pass. Way to blow it, bud.
15. Unload. Follow the rope line. Ski fresh track at noon. Looks like you didn’t blow it after all.