Skiing Triple Digits: The Quest

I’m on a quest to do something I’ve never done before. The quest? To ski triple digits: to ski more than 100 days this season.

ski vailThe Backstory:
When I lived in the Front Range from 1998 to 2003, I thought that skiing more than 30 days in a season was a proud accomplishment. I snowboarded then, actually, and I lived a two-hour drive from Breckenridge. I worked full time, too, so it took a lot of dedication to drive up on the weekends, and even if I drove up every weekend for the entire season, I found that being on the mountain for more than 30 days in a season required serious dedication, effort, time, and money.

The Possibility:
I moved to Vail in the winter of 2007-2008, which is when I first wrapped my head around the idea that it was even possible to ski more than 100 days in a season. I lived in Town of Vail housing, and one of my neighbors, Sam, was a bus driver. But he was really a snowboarder. He snowboarded every day, and he found a way to adjust his work schedule so that he could either snowboard for a few hours in the morning before work or a few hours in the afternoon after work. He snowboarded all day on his days off.

west vail move

One April, I was skiing with Sam, and he told me while we were riding that lift that he’d had a great season.

“Yeah, today’s the day I break triple digits!” he said with a huge grin, his cute raccoon eyes sparkling.

“What? Triple digits?” I asked, confused.

“Yeah, today’s my 101st day on my board.” Holy hell, I thought, feeling lame for my personal best: breaking the 50-day limit that season. But he’d put the idea in my head. One day before I died, I’d ski triple digits.

skiing w sam

Triple Digits: The Time is Now.
So I’m still here in Vail, seven seasons later. And I’ve not yet skied triple digits, so I decided that this season is the one. I recently quit a full-time teaching job, and for work, I’m freelance writing and teaching part-time ski school. Like Sam, I’ll be able to work my work schedule so that I can ski. Maybe not every day. But hopefully more than 100 days this season.

Gore Range

Triple Digits: What Counts?
I don’t want to get too restrictive and obsessive about skiing triple digits this season. But my husband asked me a logical question: What counts? Could I just get on a ski lift and do one run and count that as a ski day? Legit question. Here’s what I decided:

1. Downhill skiing, on skis for 2 hours or more
2. Nordic skiing, on skis for 1.5 hours or more
3. Backcountry skiing, climbing more than 1000 feet, skiing down

As of today, I’ll be skiing Day 12. So read on to see where this quest has taken me so far, and thanks for sharing in the Triple Digits adventure!

Photo captions:
Ski lift in Vail | Moving into my shoebox apartment in West Vail | Skiing the aspens home with Sam | The Gore Range

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18 responses to “Skiing Triple Digits: The Quest

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