Snow Sports and Mental Health

Pic was “waiting for winter” used @skirexmedia virtual apre’ live stream

So why this topic, like what the hell🤷‍♂️

So why this topic, well with with world mental health day come and gone in 24 hours I feel the need to tell you from my perspective how the outdoors and skiing saved me, and others, and how I met people along the way, and what snow sports does for them, this is going to be kinda hard for me, but I’m going to put myself out there hoping to reach the one person that needs it the most, so bear with me okay? Deal.

My Story, buckle in, it’s about to get ugly

”Skier” Shirt can be found on, I can be found east to west on the slopes mostly in PA and NY

So I will keep this short and sweet, my background really does’t matter it affects everybody, but if your wondering, My Father was a drill sergeant in the Marines, later worked in data security for the Federal Reserve, he grew up in poverty, my Mother took care of the house and family, we were not privileged at all, and again doesn’t matter, They were from south philly, my dad Cuban, my mother italian, I was the last of 4, my brother, 12 years older then me, my other brother 11 years older then me, my sister 10 years older then me, yep I was jokingly referred to as the “accident” my mom always said I was the “surprise”. Makes you feel wanted right? They were joking, my mind didn’t work that way. I will tell you we were great children instilled with a work ethic, my parents even went in with my aunt and uncle to buy a second home in my beloved pocono mountains, 10 mins from Jack Frost Mountain, My parents did not have money for lavish vacations, but I thought the mountains were amazing, I would spend hours in the woods, fishing and boating at the lake, mom and pops wanted to introduce us to what they loved, and I am forever grateful for what they did, they came here as kids also, though never skied, they introduced us to it, and then skiing, and I am forever grateful because this is what saved me in the end….

So wtf? sounded pretty sweet, what the hell went wrong? Issues? What issues?

You see having an age gap like that I saw basically my teen years in front of me, as the older siblings grew up, I felt more and more alone, I was always outgoing as my mom said I was a good kid, then the problems in school, my dad was a not having it, worked day and night went to school at night and his way of dealing with things, was physical and mental, my mom straight following the way she grew up emotional abuse, she didn’t know it, they thought they were doing the right thing, I was not the most popular kid, but played sports, Well known, had friends, i struggled in school only to be told I was stupid, when an IQ test showed I was above average, then the school counselors said I was just lazy, oh thats encouraging, I couldn’t concentrate, I was different, the rich kids at school parents paid for everything, my parents, “you want it, work for it” and that has brought me to where I am today, but I will tell you and stop being long winded about this I watched my siblings go through the teen years, yelling, screaming, drugs, alcohol, and fighting, I was just a kid, anyway bad report cards, being called lazy and I’ll never be anything took it’s toll, i’ll be failure and thats all i’ll ever be, is that what I want mom asked? Not what I wanted to be, I just didn’t understand.

Wow, so what happened next holy🤬

Well, hey we all tried drugs, alcohol, etc… I want to tell you about how I was feeling, the day I was 18, I got my paper form the school fuck this, I had each teacher sign out and tell me I was problem that could not be solved, i’m out, only, a month later to ace the GED, with no studying, I was smart, but didn’t think I was, I hung with the party crowd, always had a job, but yet felt alone, never confident, never wanted, never good at anything, my depression grew deeper, deeper, and deeper, time to get help, Well that came in the form of 6 meds that made me like a zombie, I stopped taking them, I do not suggest you do at all if you are on them btw. But we would go to the mountains and at 10 or 11 yrs old picked up skiing with no problem, all day I would go, and at night head over to Big Boulder for night skiing on the same ticket. i was fine go back home, back to the same old shit.

So wtf happens already? We are waiting sheesh🤷‍♂️

So I will tell you how I felt enough with the examples, I felt alone, nothing mattered, nothing I could ever do wold lead up to the success of any siblings, My oldest was an electrical engineer who later become an inventor, my other brother sucessful in finance, my sister same way, me, I viewed myself as the fucked up one, was a mechanic by day, school at night for IT, I was a success, it didn’t feel that way, you see I play three instruments, can fix and make anything, and solve many hardware problems, I always feel different, I didn’t belong, too much on my plate, wtf was missing?

So get to the point🤬

All right holy shit, anyway, I was suddenly at work being told how talented I was, and people were telling me how amazing I was, I would break down after a days work, Friends said “dude I love you, but you need some help” at 19 out in the parking lot of a shopping center I put the gun to my head, Fuck it, suddenly surrounded by friends and family I collapsed, handing over the gun, only by words of my parents “ we love you please, drop the gun” I just wanted it to go away, not deal with anything, but to see friends and family in tears, I dropped it, I would be hurting more people, and somebody cared for just a moment, enough for me to hear what I needed hear.

OMG so what the hell happened, and btw this is a snow spots blog🤬

Alright shit, long story short, I was not diagnosed with anything other then depression and anxiety, and all out tell all meeting with my parents would eventually solve it, I told them everything, I felt I hated, their only answer was “ I’m sorry, “we knew how to do the best with what we knew to do at the time” It was closure, but they also reminded me of the good times, and it wasn’t all bad, hell we got to ski every weekend they knew how happy I was when I was outdoors, especially skiing, I was free, I was active, I was out if the one thing that tried to kill me, my own mind…..

So what happened since then?

The light at the end of the tunnel, I talk to none of my old friends, I got real help, started skiing with people, telling my story, I have made many friends, Everybody has an outlet, mine was the mountains, I click in amongst friends, true freinds, and take those turns, but snow sports isn’t just linked to a depression and an anxiety cure, I learned about adaptive, my nephew was autistic, helped with coordination and skills, the outdoors does a mind good, in my case later on Skiing helps free me from those overwhelming days, In the summer a good hike, outdoors has proven, to boosts ones mood, dexterity, and cognitive thinking.

So like you OK dude or what?

ski rex media face mask, stickers, hoodie, can be purchased at indoor slope is @bigsnowad on twittahi,

I’m good, but don’t be fooled, check on your friends, I could be smiling on the outside, while screaming on the inside, you know I was always pegged as they guy that has his shit together, successful, honest, the best friend that has all the answers, makes a good living, don’t ever let that fool you into thinking they are OK, trust me lost 3 peeps to suicide in the past 5 years, They are not ok, you could have everything, and still not be happy…… It’s just how they are wired, and thinking

So how you living today man?

Imma good, I have been with the same company over fifteen years, but my point is whether your outlet is skiing, riding, the beach, you were taught an outlet growing up or you found one, my buddy tells me “ its a battle between the ears, you must win everyday” and that is what I do now, feel free to reach out to me on twitter @tech_rob if you need help, I will try guide in the right direction.

Holy Shit Dude😮🤟 So in the end….

Arizona Snowbowl, Grand Canyon Express, Flagstaff, Az

So In the end snow sports was always a part or my life, the only place I feel free, it was my outlet, it has taught discipline, dexterity, cognitive thinking, and my nephew who is autistic, loves the woods, it sets him free, I am now involved in many programs to get people out of the worst position they could be in…..Their own mind………

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255 text, chat, call, whatever your comfortable with, if your feeling like this reach out, I don’t care if I’m skiing, if I’m working, whatever, reach out, please, you belong, and you matter………..

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Vail From a Shareholder View

So the backlash is fierce, brutal at times, epic day on the mountain Bro? how did you like your 6 runs and 4000 vert, and being carded like an 18 year old just to get a cheeseburger and lunch that cost you more than a day ticket, lunch for your family of 6 probably could have booked a vacation to Hawaii, but we view it from a skier point of view, why am I here? to tell you a different story, of how the business model works, it works if your a shareholder, but that bubble is about to bust and here is why, as we go skiingwithnofilter

Big Boulder, Pa on a Pow Day

So what do you mean about share holder return?🤷‍♂️ explain yourself.

Okay, so I have worked for a large corporation, reviewing profit and loss, projections, labor, and all I see, is a company that once followed my company’s footsteps, if you think Vail Resorts has your best experience at heart? no shareholders invest for a return on that investment, and they have and underlying profit margin to meet, thats upto the finance and CEO to meet, and when they don’t, there is hell to pay, trust me, I have been in this hot seat before in the ruthless world of greed and profits, we inflate something like passes up nearly 76% the investments raise, but like a former VP of Finance of my company once told me, you can only be on top Rob, but beware there is only one way down, as he resigned from the corporation, had me thinking there is no way, this model works, we have market share like no other, we are blowing the doors off of everybody, we have monopolized and cornered the market, there is no way down. Foolish me, there was, and in Business School I should have known better then the over projections, but there was a few lines missing from profit and loss that year, yup people’s position, the first line hit is Labor, the easiest to make a return on

Me burning my epic pass out of frustration last year🤦‍♂️😳🤷‍♂️🔥🥶🤟

So what are you getting at already🤷‍♂️

Alright shit here we go, so we do a so called ”reorganization” which btw caused my own company I work for to lose market share, 300,000 per month in one department, the you multiply that by 208, that is a huge loss to a company it evened out what they did, they cut training, customer experience, and middle executives and management, there was only one way out, our actions, did not match our promises and words, a horrible Net Promoter Score which Vail won’t even touch, and feedback, nobody listened to the consumer, so where did we cut, thats right, Labor, bye middle management, hello centralized HR, and moving employees and housing then location to location, burning people out, separating families, but yet the company stood by its values streamlining the process, but did it? Now I know from a finance perspective what I need to cut, and the profit it returns for a while, but your on top so there is only one way down, let’s say middle management at Vail made 60,000 a year, put that across 27 resorts in cut positions returns 1, 620,000 dollars back into the company, every penny shaved is a penny earned, that was just a underestimated amount of what they made, probably more, cut HR and your your already over the 3 million dollar mark, is that what Rob Katz is telling you? That he cares? You think he will last a few more years he won’t how will he return what he did this season😳🤷‍♂️

The Bottom Line

Ahh yea the bottom line, the ”undelying operating profit” man o man could we play with this numbers all day, so on an in depth profit and lost statement, there is always areas to improve, what you have to look at is from the consumer experience, Vail failed in this part, blaming weather, and blaming staffing shortages, yet Loon, Bretton Woods, hell even Black Mountain of NH opened with more terrain, shit even my local mountains opened with more terrain, it’s easy to point the finger, what is not easy is to swallow the pill, they needed a return on investment, as an epic pass holder not by choice, Vail owns 85% of the mountains in PA, then again I had a choice, the experience with close friends was the choice, not the experience the resort offered, my company listened to its consumers and crushed market share, you won’t see that with Vail, it seems everything they touch in the east coast turns to shit, those lift upgrades? do you really think that lift from Mt Snow will help capacity at Jack Frost Mtn Pa, its not really and investment to what they cut, bottom line is Vail has cornered the market for now, how will they fair next season, well I wait as the best is yet to come, like I was told by my VP of my company, he said ”Rob I’m leaving on top, you know why? there is only one way down from here” …… and sure as Fuck hope they scramble, what holds for Vail Resorts next season or the season after, I project it will not not be good, the business model is not sustainable, I have three passes and I will tell you #indypass is the one I will get the most out of, and talk about skier experiences, I’ll leave you with this pic and decide for yourself……

I’m in grey🤣

“Welcome to The Jerry Dome”

So everybody has their opinion on indoor skiing, I know you like that clickbait right? well, here is what I experienced with indoor ski domes, and one would think it’s just for Jerry’s right? Well not exactly, let’s take a look shall we?

America’s first Indoor Snowsports Palace

So as Big snow opened and closed, and open and opened and closed, there I was in for the wild ride, it was a 95 degree day on Labor Day weekend, Big Snow would opens it’s doors again after a pandemic and man would be a lesson in how all resorts would operate safely, but this isn’t a lesson in covid right? it’s a lesson on skis these places, and just so have it, I went there and never looked back, was it just a place for the so called Jerry’s? Was it a place for the expert? intermediate? or beginner? Well the answer is complicated and here is why.

So who’s it for🤷‍♂️ it has to be Jerry right? Nobody of my skill level would ever😑

Well it’s funny you asked, when Big Snow first reopened we saw and influx of expert skiers and riders flock to the indoor destination, while those new to the sport, were few and far between, then things opened, things got better, and then we saw a shift in ability level, the one thing positive I can bring about a pandemic was people rethought the way they lived, what they did, and did what they never had the chance to do, so one would think we have to weave in and out Jerry’s here on the first run, the fact is that all levels are there, hell a few months ago the Olympic Canadian ski racing team showed up, although one person was a dick who though they were more important then everybody else won’t name no names, but shit, your with all skill levels so suck it up, you ain’t a pro here bro, this is Jersey, they will bury ass and grind you up like a 1/2 pound of Ghabaghol. Those who know, will know🤦‍♂️🤣

So is the Snow Dome really the ”Jerry Dome”

Starting Left to Right, @kendalllehman, @robg_ski and @tech_rob on twitter, @brian k skiing, then @skibumpodcast then Brooke, then @sprintnski

So What I found was for the expert, you keep in shape, the transition is much easier, for the intermediate, you get your snow legs back, for the beginner, you get to hone your skills for the season, for the Jerry’s, well, you get to be ”Jerry” who is famous, the point being, be who want to be, do what you want to do, and feel great about it, all levels welcome, come join us, the fact of the matter is that we accept anybody from anywhere so bring it🥶🤟⛷

As Snowsports Enthusiasts, do we really enjoy Summer, or are we just passing time?

Echo Lake, Pocono Mountains, PA

As the ski shops turn to mountain bike/skate/disc golf/paddle boarding/ whatever else the outdoors have to offer, the left over ski equipment and everything else goes on clearance, I can’t help but think as I mope up my own house stairs with gear in hand, lugging my ski equipment to their final resting place until I hit Big Snow American Dream, the Indoor slope located about 1 hour and 40mins from me, with me, I love the outdoors, hiking, camping, but recently I had to ask myself the question, “do I really like these things, or am I just passing time until ski season?” I think we all know the answer, lets take a look shall we🤔

So What is the Answer

Bushkill Falls, Bushkill, Pa

Honestly, I can answer “I’m just passing the time”, now wait before you bite my head off, hear me out, while I love Hiking, Paddle Boarding, Camping, Sprint Car Races, Swimming, Lakes, and nature, I just don’t think any of them compare to skiing for me, if anything I do enjoy them and use them as an outlet to still hang out with the ski crew, and pass the time, but as I lay by the pool cracking beer, that sound ignites a memory, us in the parking lot, cooking food, cracking beers, it’s apres time, the memories fill me up with that anxious white knuckle drive to the mountain, the gliding and ripping of ice and snow, the close calls, the hoots, the hollers, the high-fives echo as my memories run away from me, as I dive into the pool, well attempt to dive, I can’t really dive all that well. My face hits the cool water as rise above, knowing that feeling of snow and cold air spraying you in the face on the way down, lets all agree, there is no other feeling like it. So therefore, at least for me, nothing can replace it, so yess I am just passing the time, but I also still love to do these things during summer, but in the end for me at least, passing the time is all it truly is.

Shit Bout to go down on July 9th and 10th

Big Snow American Dream in East Rutherford, NJ

Yep on those dates we will return to Big Snow, I am fortunate enough to have one of these slopes near me, but does it really help, it sure does, driving there in 95 degree weather, showing up with gear, shorts, and sandals, and getting blasted in the face by 28 degrees, my skis hit the snow, “click” i’m in and I’m off, not noticing the metal around me, just the snow and riding the lift, and that white knuckle drive there, the stoke is real🥶🤟 So would I give up a week at the beach or the falls for this, I hands down would, I was 9 times in even before ski season started and it was only September when they re-opened so what is your take friends, are you doing the things you love just to pass the time, or is skiing irreplaceable to you? Hit me up on twitter on this post, I would love to hear your comments.

Featuring the One of the East Coast Die Hards, Skiing with one of the EC best I Introduce you to Scooter

Left to Right, @kendall,ehman, insta @Rs3lissa, then me @tech_rob then @skirexmedia then the best damn skier on the east coast @sprintnski Mr. Scooter

So how did I meet this elusive EC skier🤷‍♂️

If anybody knows me, I surround myself with people more inspiring then me, or better then me, it’s how I live my life, so “Scooter” AKA on twitter and insta as @sprintnski we met on twitter, he was one of my earliest followers, not that he tweets a lot but I do, we would tweet each other from the chairlift, he is also from PA, he is from central Pa not the North East where I am close too, but we had one thing in common, yup snow, well two actually race cars and snow, but this is a ski blog so we’ll keep it to snow🤣

The Meet Up

So after the lockdown the opened Big Snow American Dream on Sept 1st 2020 left is Scooter the Right is me skier hat and shirt you can find at skibumpodcast the rest of the shit look it up🤣🤦‍♂️

So I first met Scooter at a dirt track race not too far from me, he had an RV dogs, loved to travel, but most of all he loved his days on snow, we could talk about snow for hours, I met his wife, his dogs, his Dad also a skier, and the best Dad ever, nickname “Pop’s” Scoot, had so many days in for a Pa ski season, I thought I got a lot of days in, he killed it, in his own words “ If you can find anybody in Pa that skis more days in Pa then I, then by all means” PA has a short ski season, even shorter where here is, where I always get the lead, most resorts open by late November, where the mountains by him are not fully open until late January.

The first meet up

He said “ dude did you take lessons you got a pretty good form” then I videoed him……
Racer Form

So I first got to ski with Scooter at Big Snow American Dream, America’s first and only indoor ski resort, and it was a blast, it was a chilly Oct morning, we both thought #winteriscoming, we had a blast as we went from 60 degrees to 28 degrees, but that was just practice what was to truly come was on the mountain, and little did I know the #1 rule “never follow Scooter”

The Mountain

So I arrive at Roundtop Mountain Pa, the apres mecca of PA, first chair and the smell of eggs and bacon, we unload from the lift to variable conditions, Scooter just rips it, me a little more cautious, hey I have a rod and screws in my leg🤷‍♂️ But still admiring the conditions, Scoot fucking rips it, snow guns on, moguls, whatever, I was amazed at the ability, he shared with me “I wanted to rip moguls, so on the chairlift I watched youtube videos of people people ripping moguls” here is a guy that studied snow sports to the extreme to perfect his technique, I admire that.

The 20-21 ski season

So I got a ski condo at Cannon Mountain NH for a week turns out he was up there a week before and stayed with me the next week a few days, I got to ski with the real Scooter untamed, he skied shit I would think twice about, I followed him sometimes, and said “what the fuck was that” he stated “you forgot rule #1 never follow “Scooter” and no shit he was right, but I learned to take chances and enjoy myself, do things I never would have done, and take me out of my comfort zone to be better

The New Hampshire Trip

This trip opened my eyes to many things, but I thought I loved snow, what I learned was there was one person in the world that perhaps loved snow more then me, that is Scooter, from taming “upper wildcat” to doing “ Make a Wish” skiing 102k vert, yea he is my hero 4 sure, and his attitude keeps me alive in this world of hate, we have here a sense of love, one love, snow, and i’ll leave you with that……..

Here we go again, the waiting game….

Me Rob “waiting for winter”

As resorts across the east coast continue to drop one by one, the anxiety and doom for me creeps in, a mind filled just weeks ago of whoots, hollers, and high fives, fireball shots, a season filled with parking lot apres, good friends old and new, and one last tour in New Hampshire, I knew what I would return too, I watched the weather report back home, as I sat in my car at Cannon Mountain where it was -2 degrees with -30 degree windchills, knowing I would only return home to most likely not skiing my home resorts. Reality sets in, if I’m gonna go for it, this is it, make it a week to remember, and surely New Hampshire delivered on the goods, but what started off as powder days, quickly turned to rain on the last day, a slight reminder to what was to come, 30 years of skiing on the east coast, you would think I go through this enough that it’s just a way of life, but for some of us bitten by the “snowbug” letting go is harder then it seems……

The Season Couldn’t have ended Better

View From the Base of the #thelegend Cannon Mountain, NH

While most people thought this season would happen, but would most likely suck, I never once believed that, I knew whatever restrictions were in place were just fine, Big Snow American Dream for me was a test run, as America’s only indoor ski and ride resort, They re-opened on Sept 1st 2020, and I was there 2 days later and the long weekend of labor day weekend, skiing and taking notice of covid operations, thinking yep, resorts will be just fine, and as I was on my last trip to New Hampshire, I couln’t help but recall my start of the season there, and where I was now, what a rad trip it was dude 4 sure🥶🤟

So How did You Send off the Season

The original gang of @skirexmedia Tim the Founder of @skirexmedia pictured in the yellow jacket with the stoke🥶🤟

This week was everything to us, and damn, it delivered, snowed all weekend, into day 4, tailgates, Indy Pass Resorts, old friends and new, we skied our asses off, even on some sketchy terrain Sunday, but the snow kept falling, as the bare spots at this resort began to cover up, and the trails playful again, we skied all week, until the last day, pretty much everybody left, it was pouring rain, as the fog set in, I stay on the lower half of Cannon Mountain, the snow was soft and playful, I return to my room, starting to pack no regrets, only that I didn’t stay longer. All smiles on the drive home the next morning as I drive away……..

Mount Washington the view from Wildcat Resort
Driving Away from Cannon Mt

So now what, are you going to do buy a mountain bike🤷‍♂️

I will never know why everybody’s answer to not skiing is a mountain bike, It just doesn’t do it for me, I don’t have the confidence on a mountain bike, that I have on skis, nor the skillset, I like to hike, run, and go to the gym, no bigger rushes for me, except one skiing, but how is that possible? For me it’s a dream come true….

Big Snow American Dream

Me Rob at Big Snow American Dream in New Jersey, honing those park skills😉🤟

Snow Sports 365 days a year in New Jersey

Hone those park skills, or race down the groomers all summer, show up in shorts and sandals, and go into a 28 degree dry flake paradise, take the quad to the top, park is on the right, and slopes on the left, knock the rust off, practice those park skills, Test a new pair of boots or skis, alot of people say it’s not a ski resort, Well you look at the pics and tell me, stoke and vibe is the same, no more summer blues for me, you’ll find me here until the mountains open again, but you will also find me traveling around to beaches and lakes from east to west, but the first place I return to is here, is the stoke real? Look for yourself…….

Left @sprintnski Right me Rob, Skier Hat and shirt find Mask find @skirexmedia

The Ski Season That Was

Creek Running through Big Boulder Mountain in Lake Harmony, PA

So this was a season of uncertainty, for me it was never that, I knew this season would be epic, one thing that this season did was take me back to explore my home mountains, most now owned by Vail Resorts, but some still by independents, I knew we would have an epic snowfall, I knew, that I would be skiing, what I did not expect was the beauty of what I would capture along the way, the friendships I would build, and a snow sports community that was United and determined to lead the charge through the mouth of covid hell, and as spring nears, I am not done yet, anybody who knows me is that I live the stoke 365, There are only two seasons in my life, this ski season, and the next, misunderstood as not being partial to anything else, or “you should go buy a mountain bike” nope, nothing will ever replace skiing for me, the freedom, the worry free day, the anxiety fix all, the sailing across the east coast crust to ripping ice, flying free, ughhh well you know the feeling. But one thing the season has taught me, is take a step back and look around, with resorts closing early last March, and literally the ski carpet ripped from underneath us, we united, we became close, we became better, we became more appreciative, we opened our minds to new things, and in a world of choas, found one common ground, SNOW…..

Back on Snow in September

Left to right, twitter friend @sprintnski, me Rob, Skier hat and shirt from my mask everything else 🤷‍♂️

Word comes that Big Snow American Dream opens on Sept 1st, I immediately reserve, the stoke was real, as I drive in a light base layer, yep, 95 degrees, driving in a light base layer, gripping my steering wheel, my one and only dream to be back on snow was about to come true, anybody who dismisses indoor as a joke is nuts, its real snow, it’s a real park, it’s a real stoke, from the drive there to the parking lot watching people come in with their gear, yea, we going skiing, more importantly, I knew this would be a lesson on covid operations, and let’s face it they set the standard in the east, oh as I glide on snow again, my only regret was not booking two hours, back to back the first time, as me and #skiwife, knock off the rust along with @sprintnski, and @kendalllehman, we prepare ourselves for something greater, and little do we take a step back and take the time to view what is before us, but this time I did, I was not taking advantage of any moment this season, I was not rushing airport to airport, mountain to mountain, nope I was getting back to my roots staying local, and for my ski chat friends, seemed to be the common theme, but the moments I got to experience with so many people, a picture speaks louder then words……….

@sprintnski and @kendallehman father and son

So, I wanted to capture a lot of moments this year, little did I know this would be one of them, in the early season as I revisited my home mountains in Pa, they were not big in vert, but they were big in one thing, family resorts, even though I am always lagging behind🙄 I had to step back and show good friend @sprintnski this season was much more then vert, it was about the people that made this season possible, and that was all of us, but most of taking a step back and snapping that moment in time, generations of skiing, father and son, family, the spirit of independent resorts, yea it was all right there, as we start the rewind on mountains that we once ski and rode, remembering the good times, it suddenly appeared, that this local skier, yep me, lost it’s roots and was in a moment of awe, when I suddenly reminisced of the days of skiing with my much older brothers, sister, and cousins, it was much more than snow, but that was the glue that held us together, as it does for these two today……….

An Epic Season to be Had Awaits

I think thats Roundtop Mountain🤷‍♂️

In Closing

I didn’t have to tell you this season would be epic, you knew it, what you didn’t expect was the joy of staying close to home, the joy of slowing down just for a second, to explore and enjoy what was only in front if you all these years, the best was yet to come, but the best only comes, when we least expect it, be well friends, enjoy the pics, from this season connecting with locals and friends, and shout out to @skirexmedia and @skibumpodacst for keeping the stoke 24/7, 365, could not have made it with out you🙏🏻 Most of all appreciate what you have in front of you now, before it’s gone, because one day it just might be, 🤔but then again, not in my lifetime……..

patty melt🤷‍♂️

Welcome to Arizona Snowbowl

San Francisco Peaks/Humpfry’s

So my first trip to Arizona, I did not even know a ski resort existed, I have been to Buckeye, Glendale, Goodyear, and Sedona, and many others, but I kept glaring in the distance at these white capped mountains, the question was to my self of course, is there skiing in Arizona, I knew there was in Taos, but Arizona? The answer was yes, as I researched the resorts this one stood out, one for it’s local roots, two, the terrain, and three, it’s obscure and different, Sure I have an epic pass, before 2020 I could ski the damn world with that thing, but in my paths, Arizona is a special place, diverse people, terrain, and a rich history, its big mountain skiing at little mountain prices, let’s take a look shall we…….

Psh!!! Pah-leez How Great Could it be🤷‍♂️

Photo Taken from from the Grand Canyon Express Lift
Look at that professional photography work right from the phone, raw dog🥶🤟

Well let’s take a look at the History of Snowbowl

Snowbowl is located southwest united states, located on the San Francisco peaks of northern Arizona, seven miles from the town of Flagstaff, the ski area occupies only 1% of the peaks, facing slopes are west and northeast, it started 83 years ago as a ski area, Ole and Pete Solberg were skiing wooden skis in the Flagstaff area in the 1915, in 1938 the US Forestry service allowed a special use permit for a ski area, and operates that permit within 777 acres of a special use permit, lodges showed up in 1969. It’s annual snowfall is 260 inches per year, not including snowmaking, it has 2300 vert with the new gondola servicing 11,500 ft, hike too is 12,000ft, served by 5 chairlifts, 1 Gondola, and two lodges, and they have yurts! Consisting of 55 trails, and when you drive the 6 miles to the base you are at 9,200ft you’ll sleep in Flagstaff at 7500 to 8000ft😳 oh yea 4 real🥶🤟

My hoodie I got at Snowbowl pretty rad right🥶🤟

Enough of the Stats, get to the Goods🤬

Ok, so as an east coaster in the west, i’m hype, I want to hit it all, and WC is like 🙄, but I took my time to appreciate the mountain, I was truly in awe of the surrounding terrain, the views, that good ole mountain feel, I felt at home, relaxed, I wanted to explore, and that week we had powder everyday but one, I took the lift for 11,500ft back then, now serviced by the new Arizona Gondola, #skiwife and I were watching were few unloaded, yea, we followed them through a catwalk, and through the trees and wow😍 came across a wide open upper bowl😳

One of the upper bowls🤷‍♂️ Idk🤷‍♂️
IDK seemed like a decent pic🤷‍♂️

So in ending, lets go sum it up🤬

ok, ok, sheesh, so listen skip the lines at Taos, Flagstaff has a bunch of local breweries, and plenty of places to eat, it’s a college town, Snowbowl rarely gets packed, but got a rap this year, but what resort didn’t, anyway, enjoy the midweek lift tickets at 49.00, whattttt😳, yup 49.00, the friendly staff, diverse terrain, upper bowls, and challenging terrain will have you begging for more, I loved skiing here, the terrain was amazing and the views were sick, the peeps were chill, and the terrain parks were amazing, check out this hidden gem if you a chance too 4 sure🥶🏔⛷

Forbes got it wrong

So I don’t know about west coast resorts, but the under Vail Resorts the east coast is dying, once die hard epic pass fans, meet disgruntled employees, laid off ski patrollers, over worked liftees and unhappy employees, best to say that this survey was taken without every employee feedback, lack of snow making, lack of employees, and patrollers have shut down a mountain in the east to get this award is a disgrace, i’m a cuban Italian american, and too get mentioned because you raised awareness now it has become a subject is a disgrace, I’m not here to trash vail resorts as well as I am a fan of actions speak louder then words, let’s take a look shall we as we go skiing with no filter.

I made a statement

Well good for you, and what did you do to back up that statement nothing, your are required by law not to discriminate, but what did you do to change anything, the fact of the matter is on the east coast nothing, operating in primarily white areas of the North East where so did you find your diversity? Please tell me, the answer is nothing, the survey’s were bullshit in the east, not everybody got to participate, so where are we getting this data🤔 ahh the large corporation hold, me having many friends and followers of Vail Resorts don’t believe that for a second, again actions speak louder then words.

The East delivered you did not🤷‍♂️

So congrats you own most of the ski industry, good job, during BLM movement we released a statement, wow applause, notttttt, as far as diversity prove it, I dare you in the east, your nothing but a money machine only worried about its return on investment face it,

me Rob🤷‍♂️

Well if this isn’t the greatest coffee cup award on the best desk I don’t know what is, why we applaud resorts like these are beyond my mind, you may be the biggest employer, but as far as benefits, racial injustice, diversity, and, and safety, I call bullshit, lift lines long, tickets over booked, employees laid off, overworked employees and social injustice exist, why got this award is because of big corporate greed and I wouldn’t boast about that, in the end I will not be at any of your resorts, and supporting the independents next season, have your award, we know who you really are in the east……….

Social Media and the Snowsports Community

Left to right me Rob, @kendalllehman on twitter and @sprintnski on twitter

So when I first got on Social Media, little did I know the impact or influences people would have on me later on, and it works both ways, being on twitter since 2014, I kind of sat back and relaxed, didn’t interact much, really just sitting back to watch what was going on, in the 2016-2017 season, I started posting and slowly gained followers, little did I know or dreamed of having over 350 followers, no not a lot by any means, but the interesting thing is that as I started sharing my experiences, my local mountains in PA, and my traveling experiences, really started to set it off, but the most impactful was my love of snowsports, and my stories of dealing with a lifetime of anxiety and depression, and how I was able to overcome, and how skiing saved me, but little did I know how much of us would have so much in common, this build is not on followers, it built a community of people, my love for the outdoors connected me with so many different people, so many different backgrounds, and so many different levels, it felt so freeing to say “these people get me”

So get to fuckn point already🤷‍♂️ Enough of the foo foo shit🤷‍♂️ The Point is Influences

Me Rob, Hoodie found

Well you have the power to close the page my friend, or you have the power to write another chapter, which will way will you choose? I will say all of my followers in same way have influenced me some way or another, to be better to be stronger, now I am a good dude, nobody has ever met me that didn’t like me, my level head, fiery soul, and free spirit living, and the calm cool vibes, people seem to love, I would rather see the good in people then hate them, hate will eat you alive, while common ground with disagreements can be found uplifting. So ok enough foo foo shit as you are thinking lets get a little deeper, and why I love all of my followers and ski and board peeps.

“The Whole is Greater then the Sum of it’s Parts”

Me and Someone Who is twitterless, but those old school followers know who she is, shared many things with this friend, more then skiing in common, but skiing is the bind that made us better

So the quote is Aristotle, not like you give a fuck, but in case you do there is the credit, so what do I mean, some of my most earliest followers were the most influential, @gotseacrets, @bobzeucher, @gmovestr, who btw was a pa skier and eventually rode the lifts of people like Picabo Street, and many others a competitive mogul skier, @TormeyL @albaadventureny, @tthrash, @spottedmahn, @sprintnski, @kendallLehman @skirexmedia, @simonJburgess, and @skibumpodcast for keepn’ it real, @…….grower(he doesn’t like when people @him) @reallyitsmenotu, and later as my views changed @skiingrogge yup, who brought back #MountainGazette, honorable mentions of later followers @aliwines, @partunia, @inglewitch, @Tully03830, @snowbunnyhug is not a follower but any interaction with her has been more the pleasant, man there are so many, if I missed you please dm me, I will edit the article, but the point being, many of you have completed me in a way for something I was searching for that was so much greater than itself, and as I traveled and got to spend time with some of you or just conversed with you, whether or not you know it, you were an inspiration to me whether you know it or not, somedays are bad, and there is no better day then I’m talking to that common bond with my peeps our love of snow🥶🤟, Though the years through a pandemic, we have had our highs and lows, but never did we question who we are, or what we will continue to do. That’s right we will continue to love what we do, continue to share from coast to coast, and ride on🥶🤟🏔

Skiing With No Filter is Born, but why?

me, can’t you tell? Really I had to write a caption🤷‍♂️

So you can read the earlier posts on people I have met or skied with, but this year I wanted self fund a no ad website with my own money, many of you know how many causes I donate to or support, I am not a rich man, I don’t do bad either, we all know I will hand over my last dollar and make myself suffer before you have too, thats who I am, I have had met a lot of you in my travels this year and it has been a blast some of you are on the calendar, and some because of covid is next year, I started this website because skiers of beginner to intermediate were reaching out, looking for a place in this world, and also people of different race, creed, religion, and sexuality, it’s all good here my friend you are always welcome, the soul of this website was built for you, I will never judge you, and I wont allow others to judge you, you do what you do, from pizza slice to french fry, from the wind lip, to the trees, all are welcome, you have all taught me so much, and helped more than you think I helped you, no we ain’t all heli skiing, no we ain’t all dropping off steeps, but we are doing one thing skiing, and that is all we need and have in common right now. Be well friends🥶🏔⛷