What Does Skiing Mean to You?

March 28, 2014 D'Arcy McLeish

This year, I spent half of the season on the bench, injured. It was/is brutal. Everyone is out enjoying their lives in the mountains, doing things like skiing pow, falling in love, getting engaged, hiking into new lines and discovering new zones, going on heliskiing trips, sled trips, cat ski trips, hanging out in hot springs with cold beers, laughing; all parts of their body soaking it all up and loving it, unaware of how bitter the other side of that is – a haze of Tylenol 3’s, Netflix and chocolate addiction. But in this achey dream state, a few things come clear…like what skiing really means to your life. Here are the Five “F’s” of skiing.

Bam! Photo: Chris O'connell
BAM! Photo: Chris O’Connell

 Skiing is friendship. There is nowhere better to bond than in the mountains. There is something about hitting a bump, face planting and uncontrollably laughing that bonds you for life. As a woman (girl? not sure where I qualify), I will admit that there are endless opportunities for chatter on the hill: chairlifts, boot packs, tops of runs, anywhere you randomly stop at the same time, the lodge, side by side on the cat track; you get the picture. Lots to talk about – I mean, ski. That’s why you should head up to Last Frontier Heliskiing with your best friends. 


Skiing is fresh air. “GOING OUTSIDE IS GLORY,” exclaimed the girl laid up in her bed on painkillers. Even if it’s cloudy, that natural Vitamin D hits harder than any supplement you can take. I don’t care if you’re hooked up to Vitamin D on an IV drip, the outdoors are going to rejuvenate you better than anything else can. Also, you will look healthier. This is good for things like: striking up conversations with attractive strangers, not being put down as a “drug seeker” in medical records and overall general well-being when you catch your reflection in mirrors.

Skiing is fun. Need I say more? You don’t need to be a doctor to know that.

Powabunga! Photo: Ales Fevzer
Powabunga! Photo: Ales Fevzer

Skiing is fitness. Without even realizing it, you are becoming a fitter, stronger, faster version of yourself. Hiking up, skating along, skiing down; all your muscles are engaged…okay, so maybe you will notice it. Who needs a gym when you have mountains to climb up and speed down?

Drop Off To Drop In! Photo: Dave Silver
Drop off to drop in! Photo: Dave Silver

Skiing is freedom. I didn’t realize this until I was sidelined, but you know that little voice that nags away at you, day in and day out, telling you to work more, lose more weight, entertain more, make more money, be more, etc.? It goes away when you’re skiing. There is just pure, blissful silence. Even if a helicopter is roaring over your head.

So, as the season wraps up, take advantage of the gifts that this sport can offer you. You never appreciate what you truly have until it’s gone.