Getting Stoked: On the Edge of a New Season

With all of the hard work that the 32 Degrees editorial department has been putting in on the upcoming fall issue, which highlights the new 2012–16 PSIA-AASI Teams, some great new teaching concepts, and a lot of cool new skis and snowboard, it's hard to keep from getting excited about the upcoming season.

And in the same way that retail store shelves suddenly overflow with Christmas tree ornaments and gift wrapping paper the day after Halloween, I am starting to see some sure signs of the winter to come.

For starters, even though it was 90 degrees here in New Mexico yesterday, I am going to buy my Ski Santa Fe season pass this afternoon. Like a front-row ticket to a concert I have yet to see, something just starts to feel different when I first hold it in my hand. Then there are the weather forecasts of an impending El Niño, with above average snowfall predicted from Utah to New England, and word from Loveland Ski Area in Colorado that they have already started the official countdown to the day when snowmaking will begin.

It doesn’t take much more than that for my sleep to start filling with white-winter dreams of floating through powder and arcing down the groomed. Which is why, even though the grass needs cutting and the Olympics are still on TV, I’ll probably also end up checking out some movie trailers this weekend, like Matchstick Productions’ Superheroes of Stoke, which highlights an entire generation of freeskiing pioneers, or Jeremy Jones’ Further, in which the legendary big-mountain rider tackles some absolutely unbelievable lines.

I’ve already been watching plenty of Go With a Pro video on YouTube, just to remind myself of some of the things I want to work on when the lifts are running again. The truth is, I probably won’t be on one of those lifts until the start of the PSIA-AASI Fall Workshop (formerly Team Training)—more than two months from now—where the new Teams will get together at Colorado’s Copper Mountain to start practicing, analyzing, and debating all of the latest trends and innovations in snowsports instruction.

Like a preseason clinic for some of the greatest instructors in the world, it’s sure to be filled with a sense of optimism. From the focus on how to improve lessons for everyone—students and teachers alike—to that first cold blast of mountain air and snow guns, to all of the friendly faces and fresh ideas being shared, there is an annual spirit of newness there that I have come to depend on.

And on a hot August day like today, I absolutely can’t wait to get back there—to winter—again.

Peter Kray

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