The Big Questions

Destiny, faith, self & skis.  

Some questions, by their very nature, tear at the fabric of what we think we know. They cause us to turn inward, to examine who we are and who we want to be. They lay bare our faults; expose our fears; test our relationships; challenge our beliefs. These questions have no easy answers, but there is value in the asking. “What is my purpose?” “Is there a God?” “Am I a good and decent person?” “What is an appropriate number of skis to own?” 

I find it easy enough, with ample time and whiskey, to defer attention almost indefinitely from questions of destiny and faith and self. But this question of skis… oh, sweet skis. I tremble to question the quiver. It has been suggested—by my wife, parents, most of my friends, neighbors, the mailman, and the guy who lets his yappy dog crap in my yard—that I have an excessive number of skis. In my defense, each has a purpose, and a story, and I love them, and I’m a grownup and you can’t tell me what to do, so leave me and my precious alone.

Rock skis, carving skis, skis with alpine bindings, skis with touring bindings, classic skis, skate skis, reverse camber skis, slalom skis, huge powder skis, spring skis, carbon-fiber skis, skis for Wednesdays, park skis—okay fine, I’m way too old for park skis—beat-up skis that I just can’t part with, brand new skis that I should’ve sold years ago but now are valueless so I’m just going to hang onto them, and the list goes on. Does a splitboard count? As one ski, or two? Whatever—add it to the list. They’re all necessary. They all have their place.

In the immortal, and not at all made-up words of the Byrds—who apparently love turns about as much as anyone:

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time for every ski, under heaven
A time for groomers, a time for pow
A time for up, a time for down
A time to shred, a time to cruise
A time to skate, a time for booze 

To every ski (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn) 

So, what is an appropriate number of skis to own? As far as I’m concerned, all of them. And I’m not the only one—Bozeman is full of shameless ski hoarders. At a bar in this town, we’re probably better off debating religion, politics, and the end of all things. Just don’t question the quiver.