Last Run: Team Members Reflect on the Season’s Early End

The last run of the ski and snowboard season is always a memorable, providing one last opportunity to enjoy your local mountain with family and friends.

But the impact of COVID-19 brought this season to a sudden end. In this new First Chair Podcast, PSIA-AASI National Team members Heidi Ettlinger, Matt Boyd, Brenna Kelleher, and Chris Rogers talk about how their seasons ended, and some of the opportunities it has created to get in better shape.

You can also learn about other PSIA-AASI member’s last runs, or share your own story, on Facebook. Everyone who comments will be entered to win a hat from Patagonia.

Heidi Ettlinger

How her season ended: My last run was at Sierra Tahoe with a group of Level I candidates in windy blizzard-like conditions. Everything was shut down except for a green run at the bottom where we were playing around with some kids props and doing some skiing. It wasn’t until later that night that I heard we wouldn’t be reopening.

The silver lining: For me, if had to be the last run of the season – it was great to spend it with some new members. I did get in touch with all of them and the next day we met at a café to give them their certificates and pins. I think we all remember how good it feels to earn that first pin.

Matt Boyd

How his season ended: I had a Level III exam at Cannon Mountain. In the East, we changed our exam process so there are two examiners out with the candidates at the same time. It was great because I got to spend that day out with one of my best buddies, Troy Walsh. We did complete the exam, but who’da thunk that would be the last lift-served day I had.

The silver lining: You see a lot more people exercising right now. This is going to leave people in better physical condition by getting more in tune with themselves, their body, and their movements.

Brenna Kelleher

How her season ended: I was in Switzerland and finished my work and had a couple days at Verbier where I had set up to shadowing some BASI clinics. Things happened so quickly –  the clinics were canceled and I realized this might be my last day of the season so I skied from restaurant to restaurant and had a glass of wine and some Swiss Cheese.

The silver lining: Because we are all in our own space away from our family, friends, and teammates, it’s nice to use social media to stay in touch with others for community and communication. I encourage people to talk to each other over social media.

Chris Rogers

How his season ended: I was teaching at home in Vail, and had a new private lesson with a guest that was supposed was supposed to be for a week. We finished early that day so I went and rode a couple runs in the park. When I left the locker I thought I was going to be back the next day, and didn’t hear we were done until that evening.

The silver lining: I am using this time to catch up on all the books people recommended over the years. I’m reading Social Intelligence, by Daniel Goleman. He was one of the early authors to write about emotional intelligence. This book talks about how sometimes social media keeps us from making authentic social connections. Now, as this has happened, it’s going completely counter to that, and it’s pretty amazing that we have this tool so that we are not completely quarantined on our own.