Thought Bubble

Friends On a Powder Day

Adam Jaber January 13, 2023 1

share close

Friends On a Powder Day

When I first learned to ski tour, I was working as a baker. My shift started at 6am, which meant I couldn’t join my friends for dawn patrol before they headed to the office. As I started the mixer, they started climbing. By the time the sourdough had finished its first rise, my friends were farming freshies, their hoots and hollers practically echoing in my mind. Missing out on those epic powder runs felt devastating. It was all so new to me—I hadn’t yet learned that there will always be another powder day. 

Last winter, a resort-skiing friend of mine got his first touring set up. Absolutely hooked on the possibility of touring weekdays before work, he texted me one morning upon waking: “Skipped dawn patrol today because I couldn’t sleep. I’m angry at myself, depressed for skipping a morning lap.” I checked the weather report for his locale: epic pow, no end in sight. “The snow will still be there tomorrow, can you go then?” I wrote back. 

The text exchange left me unsettled, deeply aware of how often I’d felt the same. It does suck to miss amazing ski days, and fomo is underscored by Instagram stories and Strava updates, each more painful to see when stuck at the office or injured on the couch. With climate chaos obliterating predictable patterns for mountain weather, perfect powder days can feel even more precious. But why do we let it go to our heads, why do we give this sport so much power?

As skiers, we’re deeply embedded with a scarcity mindset. Battling it out for the first chair is a rite of passage. First tracks are the ultimate prize, in bounds or out. And the deeper I find myself in the ski industry, the more pervasive I find this mindset to be. First descents, fastest known times, spots on team rosters… even media gigs and guiding contracts are in limited supply. Everyone wants a piece of the pie, and we’re taught that there’s only so much to go around. 

A few years ago, I decided to adopt the mantra “there will always be another powder day.” Since then, I’ve become a healthier, happier human. Admittedly, I will always prefer skiing to almost any other activity. But I also accept that skiing isn’t life. We are all humans with communities to engage with, families and friendships to care for, and causes that need us. The more we buy into the lie of “no friends on a powder day,” the less we contribute to the world that surrounds us. 

Many of us are learning to examine skiing as a privileged, exclusive sport. Upholding a mindset of scarcity only perpetuates exclusivity by fostering ego, greed, and competition. At what point do we embrace taking a powder day to ski with a new friend on groomed, beginner runs? Or passing along that next gig with the acknowledgment that our foot is already in the door? 

Abundance runs deeper than the snow. Just like there will always be another powder day, there will always be another contract, another mountain… another skier right beside you, trying to keep up. What resources do you have to share with them? Start taking stock, because this community will be healthier and more vibrant when we stop viewing each other as competition and start learning to share our abundance.


Written By Emily Sullivan

Emily Sullivan by Luke Nelson
Emily Sullivan by Luke Nelson


Tagged as: .

Rate it
Previous post

Post comments

This post currently has no comments.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *