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College Students: Let’s Admit, This Pandemic Dampened Our Ski Season, But That’s OK


Steamboat in Early February – Alec Stowell

As what would have been the latter half of our 2019-2020 ski season approaches its end, it’s OK to feel on a little bit of disappointment. For college students, the way this season ended is particularly frustrating considering this may be some of the most flexible times in our lives to get up on the slopes. We get to create our own class schedules and have so many friends around us who are just as eager to go chase powder, that missing any of that time feels like a huge letdown. But it’s alright to feel that way – it’s expected. You don’t have to bottle up that disappointment and try to forget that your ski season was cut short. Let it out.

If you’re a fellow college student like me, there was nothing better than texting a group chat of friends at school and organizing a weekend trip to one of the mountains. It gave you something to look forward to when you were grinding out papers, projects and exams all week. You knew at the end of the week you were able to just get out there and enjoy some of the best mountains in the world with some great people. That’s something I am definitely missing.

I know this is disappointing for all ski and snowboard enthusiasts no matter what age and walk of life, but for myself, as a graduating senior, this sucks a little bit more. I really wanted to take advantage of my last year of college and get as many days on the mountain as possible, and I did that for as long as I could. I skied more days this year than I had any year before, even with the ski season cut short and I’m a native Coloradan. I’m happy about that but I had a much larger goal for the number of days I skied, and I still had so much left I wanted to accomplish. We all did.

What contributed to the disappointment of this all was how abrupt everything happened. It felt like one day everything was normal and the next day all of the ski areas had shut down. At the time, it seemed that it may just be temporary, and we’d be getting our turns in again in no time, but as we all know now that wasn’t the case. If you were a cross country or backcountry skier you may have had some opportunities after the ski areas were shut down, but for a lot of us, we had to pack up our stuff and put it away for the season. I’m just happy I went a few days prior to all of the closures.

At this point though, there’s not much we can do besides let the frustration out, put an asterisk on this season and move on. We all will wonder what it would have been like had we had the chance to finish the season, but now it’s time to look forward. This pandemic will come to an end and a brand-new ski season will dawn upon us. And if you’re like me, because of missing out on a good chunk of this season, I will go into the next season with that much more excitement and passion to enjoy my days out there.

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Powder day at Eldora – Alec Stowell 

We don’t have let this season leave a stain in our minds either. Instead, we should celebrate all the good memories and amazing days we had out there while we could. We can remember the best runs, the best powder days, the sunny bluebird days and of course, all the amazing après ski conversations with friends and family.

Another positive worth noting is that many major ski pass companies are offering some sort of discount or other convenient options for pass holders going into next season because of how this season ended. So, I encourage everyone to take advantage of the best deal they can to get themselves out there as much as possible next season.

Yes, the early closures of the ski areas stunk for all, but that doesn’t mean everything has to be all doom and gloom. As a college student, I made the most out of this season going every weekend I could and even some days before classes, so I have to be happy with that. As a ski community, let’s embrace all the good times this year on the mountains brought us and look ahead to the many ski days we’ll have in our future.


Alec Stowell

Alec Stowell is a senior at the University of Colorado Boulder. He is majoring in Journalism and minoring in Business with a focus in entrepreneurship. He was born in Glenwood Springs and grew up skiing in the roaring fork valley. Being active and exploring the outdoors has always been a huge priority to him – everything from skiing, basketball, mountain biking, hiking, and more have all been hobbies of his for as long as he can remember. Early in his education, he discovered a passion for writing and so when the opportunity came along to both ski and write, he was ecstatic. After graduation, he hopes to still be able to pursue a career in which he can combine his passion for writing and the outdoors, but is still figuring out what the future holds. For now, he is looking forward to making the most out of his ski season with Colorado Ski Country.