Where are all the Dragons?

I don't see any dragons out there.

I don’t see any dragons out there.


Again. The weather has been nice mostly in the 50’s and a few days in the 60’s here in Reno. Clear sunny skies. The jogging was nice. I tried playing disc golf but the high desert wind kept stealing my disc. This is all fine and good except… it’s January!

This is the fourth winter in a row that has been way below average in levels of snowfall. It just isn’t snowing out there. It’s as if someone has stolen the winter season. Again! Four year in a row now.

The first season of this drought I somehow managed to get broken by an avalanche on the first powder weekend of the year, which was until the middle of March. That was a shitty season.

Season 2 of the drought wasn’t quite as bad as the first season. I was slowly learning how to ski again and terrified of powder snow because I thought it would attack me. I didn’t mind that it didn’t snow much that year.

Season 3 of the drought was about the same as season 2. It was more fun because my body was stronger. I was able to ski better. I returned to the scene of my devastation, Kirkwood, and got to know the great people of the Ski Patrol that saved my life that day. That was special to me. And it was awesome to be skiing at Kirkwood again because Kirkwood is fucking awesome. But the season ended early again because of lower than average amounts of snow.

Which brings us to this: Season 4 of the drought. The West is dying from dehydration. Tahoe skiers are begging for an average season. Average in Tahoe is 300-500 inches of snow. Average is awesome. We are once again way below average. It’s January but people are thinking more mountain biking than snow skiing.

What do you do when you can’t do your passion? What do you do when you are denied your life’s pursuit?

This is a good question for ski bums to ask themselves. Unlike football, basketball, or baseball players, ski bums can ski most of their lives’. They don’t get too old and have to retire. In times like these it’s good to think about what you would do with your life if you couldn’t ski.

For me, if skiing were out of the question, I’d be gone. I’d move back to the East Coast to be with my family and friends. I moved to the West Coast, and recently to Reno, to live the dream. To feed my skiing addiction. It has cost me a lot. But when it’s good, it’s worth it, if just for that moment.

I sit around waiting for storms that don’t come.

Laird Hamilton, the legendary Hawaiian big wave surfer, once explained to his wife what it was like when there were no waves to catch. He said imagine if you were a dragon slayer. What would you do if there were no more dragons?

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