Tomorrow is the day I have been waiting for. The day that everyone in this little town called Revelstoke have been waiting for. Opening day!
A few have made the effort to head out to Rogers Pass and go for a pre season tour or have headed to other, earlier opening resorts across BC and Alberta to get some early skiing in. Personally, I headed to Big White for some icy warm up laps despite my last day of skiing only being a month and a half ago. Yep! I just finished up a winter at Perisher back down south in Australia. Because that’s what I do; I chase winter. I’m now on my 6th winter in a row and it doesn’t really look like I’m stopping any time soon! That’s what brought me to Revelstoke this winter. I figured it was about time to step up my mountain game.
I figured out a long time ago that I’m not happy unless I’m in the mountains, outside and going skiing but it was only recently that I realised it was okay to feel like that. What I mean is, I grew up in the Australian mountains and learnt to ski as soon as I could walk. The mountains have always been home. But when I finished school the usual pressures were put on me. I did everything people in my life wanted me to do. I went to University and got a degree that meant nothing to me because that’s what my parents wanted. I was doing things that I thought people are supposed to do when you start to grow up and enjoyed my skiing on the side. I just kept it to myself that I wasn’t really happy doing “adult things”.
Then it dawned on me. I always saw those inspirational posters that say “do what you love and you will be happy” and the articles online that ask “If money wasn’t a factor, what would you be doing right now?”. So despite my very negative bank account balance I grabbed my best mate, moved out of my shitty town house in Melbourne and booked a trip for my first back to back winter. That was at the end of the 2013 Aussie winter and I haven’t looked back.
I do go home for the short stints between winter and get mildly interrogated by old friends.
“So.. What are you doing with your life again?”
“When are you going to use your degree?”
And sometimes it’ll get me down. Yes. I’ve woken up with that thought “Shit. What am I doing with my life?! I have no damn money and not much of a plan either! Should I grow up?” but then I remember those 9 – 5 jobs in a city, the insufferable Aussie summers, the feeling of not belonging anywhere or fitting in and my favourite Shane McConkey quote:
“I’m getting maximum enjoyment out of life, and I’ll never stop. I’ll be poor for the rest of my life, so that I can have fun.”
So I made the mountains my life. And now I do it just about every day!
And one of my favourite things about it is everyone else in these little mountain towns have a similar story. I’m hoping doing these back to back winters and learning about big BC mountains can lead to something that qualifies as “a career” but I’ll see how I go.
Can I afford rent next month? Na. But no one else can either and we’re all going skiing tomorrow at a resort that has the biggest vertical in North America and some of the highest snowfall. Hell yeah!
See you in the mountains