Is Skiing in the Rain Fun?

Andy Hays |
Skiing Squaw in the rain. photo: snowbrains
Skiing Palisades Tahoe in the rain. Credit: SnowBrains

The car sat idling as a steady rain pattered against the windshield. It’s not as if I didn’t have any clue that this would happen. The forecast had been pessimistic. Still, it seemed as if there was hope. The rain held out until… really until the access road. Then it came down. As I got closer to the parking lot, the wind had picked up. The car sat idling. I turned off the ignition. Well… I drove here damn it.

What was I going to do? Turn around and drive home? The idea seemed preposterous, but staring out the rain-soaked windshield at the foggy slopes above, so did the idea that this would be any fun. A gust of wind shook the car. Perhaps I might take a nap. I put the seat back and let out a heavy sigh; at least kill a little time. The rain might subside any moment now. A gust of wind shook the car. I let out a heavy sigh. “This sucks,” I said aloud as I pushed the door against the elements. I drove here damn it…

Skiing is fun. Skiing might be the most fun thing ever invented. I’m probably sure it is. A bad day of skiing is better than most, but the ugly truth is that sometimes it just simply sucks. Days that the list of things you’d rather be doing at that very moment seems compelling than being cold, wet, and miserably uncomfortable. Yet some cocktail of factors ranging from a lengthy drive, a high-priced day pass, being on vacation, or some sick self-loathing will lead you to stick out the worst of conditions for no real apparent reward. I drove here damn it…

Skiing in the rain.
Skiing in the rain.

I was wet, very wet, yet it wasn’t raining. No, it had a sharp stinging quality. I think you might consider this sleet, or even snain, if that exists, as it seemed to be frozen enough to sting viciously on the way down the hill but liquid enough to render me hopelessly soaked upon the lift. I’d put my hood up, but the wind keeps blowing it off. Besides, I think it’s filled with water anyhow. My face throbs in protest as I snake through the empty lift corral. I can’t believe I’m doing this. I get back on the chair for another soggy lap. I try to look on the bright side but fail to fully grasp what that is here.

It’s not like I’ll finish up here and be dry. That’s only the beginning of the process. I’ve still got to drive the hour and a half back home. Why on Earth did I get back on the chair? Because I certainly can’t stop yet. I drove here damn it…

Skiing in the rain.
Skiing in the rain.

On days like this, I try to avoid the few brave souls on the empty slopes. One of them will try to espouse some rhetoric claiming these to be the “best kind of days” or some rubbish. I feel particularly crabby when I’m wet. All I want is to go home and be dry, which I would have done some time ago if I didn’t feel obligated to justify the time and effort into getting here.

Finally, I’ll meet a vaguely defined quota for suffering and pack it in for the day. Inevitably the sun will make an appearance soon after that, and from the heated comfort and relative dryness of my car, I’ll regret leaving so soon. It looks nice out now. Besides, these are the “best kind of days.”  I hope my boots are dry by tomorrow.

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5 thoughts on “Is Skiing in the Rain Fun?

  1. I’ve skied in the rain a bunch of times….east coaster. Your tolerance for it goes down after you hit 30. I used to say that it was great because it made the jumps/bumps/everything softer and killed the ice patches. There was some truth to that. But some days you’re just so miserable you really do wonder how you could be so stupid to be putting yourself through the misery. Nice post!

  2. I could agree. The only reason to ski in the rain is because you drive up there already. I have to admit when the snow reaches the perfect moisture content it can ski really well! But it is a fine line.

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