Tuesday, April 2, 2019
Written by Kevin St. Gelais (KJ)
“Don’t take life too seriously”, “hang-loose”, and “grass slides SOO much better than most people would think” are just a few of the quotes from my father that really stick in my head, especially as we start to get into the spring skiing weather pattern. I started skiing at wildcat when I was 13 when my dad, Kevin, joined the ski patrol here at Wildcat. At the time I was home schooled, so the mountain was our science lab/gym class, lift rides were social studies, and running out of fingers and toes to count runs on is what I liked to call math class. We had some pretty epic father/son runs. One of my favorites was mid-February about 8 years ago. We had gotten about 20 inches of blower powder overnight and there wasn’t a cloud over The Notch by first chair. We were both working on ski patrol at the time and we were asked to go check the depth in the middle (Top Cat, Starr Line, Panther, Sphynx). Now I know it sounds like a rough job, but we were tasked with skiing one of the best lines on the mountain while it was covered in all that untouched snow. Needless to say, we didn’t take too much convincing. We dropped in, one of us on each side of the quad summit terminal. The rest of the run was really a blur, the snow was just so deep it was spilling over our heads with every turn. The first time we saw each other after the summit was at the bottom of Starr line when we both needed to clear the snow from our faces (should have brought my snorkel).
Well fast forward to this year and now my son has caught the powder fever! Being a 3.5-foot-tall 4-year-old has its perks at a ski area, the biggest being that just a few inches of snow feels just as deep as 2 feet does to the rest of us. It was awesome for me to have all 3 generations all shredding together. The excitement for the sport and for Wildcat in particular just doesn’t fade with age. I can see the same stoke in the eyes of my son as I do in my dad’s, which I’m sure they see in me too.
For me, this season will mark 14 years that I’ve worked here at Wildcat and over that time I’ve gotten my hands dirty in almost every department. For the past few years I have called the tuning/repair shop home though. Some of my favorite skis to work on are the ones that have obviously been loving the woods and doing their job of protecting your feet from the rocks. I have plenty of P-Tex on deck to get you all sealed up after you uncover those rocks in your favorite stash. Come on in and say what’s up some time as we’re always up for a good chat, and maybe even ask us about our season end/summerizing tunes.