What will the 2015/2016 Season Look Like?

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Screenshot copyright Cypressmountain.com

By now you must’ve must of heard one of 10 conflicting snow forecasts:

  1. 10 % likelihood of lots of snow

2. 20% likelihood

3. 30% likelihood

4. 40% likelihood

5. 50% likelihood

and so forth…

But really, it’s forecasts like these that capture our interests:

  1. 0.1% likelihood of good snow, 99.9% warmest season on record

and frankly, it’s these forecasts that dominate.

Even if we didn’t look at the sources, I think it’s fairly clear: for someone who started riding (at least buying season passes) basically at the start of this terrible 2+ year drought/heatwave on the BC North Shore mountains, low snow is the expectation. If you want more snow, move out elsewhere or move to Whistler.

The season at Whistler will no doubt be better than the one on the small local mountains. The small local mountains will surely suck. If there was a lack of progression last year on the small local single green runs, there will be even less this year. Or, maybe you can be more creative and somehow learn to do amazing things on flat, slow beginner runs. That prospect doesn’t even sound like death to me anymore; my finances are so bad Whistler isn’t really in the question. School, that crux of my life, takes on more meaning than it ever did before. And so does global warming. The more I hike, the more I see of the beautiful earth. After one year of hiking I could throw in the towel and say I’ve seen enough and the fad is over. But look: the local mountains are melting and nature needs our appreciation more than ever. Even the small local hills. Nature is nature and we need to feed our stoke for it.

If you want to go somewhere with good snow, don’t worry, because there is no shortage of recommendations. Hokkaido in Japan, Big White, Revelstoke, Banff etc, Europe (everywhere?)…and I barely named any. Snowboarding will always be happening somewhere on some facet of the globe, and you don’t have to worry. If you have the means to get there or find that fact comforting, I encourage you to meditate on it. While we in the PNW cry and make sacrifices to Ullr and brace ourselves and the bottom of our boards and skis, snow is falling naively, abundantly, unfairly, thankfully, elsewhere. You needn’t worry.

I never want snowboarding to be a “trip of a lifetime” kind of experience. I want it to be something that I can do weekly, even if it sucks. I want to have something to look forward to everyday without having to pin a lot of importance onto it; I want a steady source of happiness and not a vacation memory I put too much importance on. That’s a function of the financial situation I’m in and how I can maximize my own enjoyment of snow.I hope it differs for you and that you get as much snow as you want, as often as you want, to the end of maximum happiness. The rest doesn’t matter.

I hope that the stoke never dies and that the snow is always, always drifting somewhere on earth. I hope that someone of it drifts near me, but if it doesn’t, I will be on the search for it anyways. When that first chill slips below untolerable and the first flakes begin to fall, I want the snow to know that I will celebrate it any way I can. Snow will not make me jaded. Snow will always be a sign of newness, vitality, and possibilities.


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