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Intro


One Hundred

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Intro


One Hundred

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Daydream


The Daydream.

I've been fascinated by snow my entire life. I was born in a small ski town in Romania where I first became introduced to the mountains and skiing. Then, just as this world was opening up, my family moved to the plains of Ohio, where I was teased by wet winters and ski areas boasting 240ft of vertical. In college, I took that passion to the Appalachians of New England, and eventually ended up living within striking distance of the Sierras. After two seasons filled with weekend trips to Tahoe, I wanted more: to turn what constituted a weekend activity for those around me, into the lifestyle I knew some lived. What did that mean to me? To ride one hundred days in a season.

Daydream


The Daydream.

I've been fascinated by snow my entire life. I was born in a small ski town in Romania where I first became introduced to the mountains and skiing. Then, just as this world was opening up, my family moved to the plains of Ohio, where I was teased by wet winters and ski areas boasting 240ft of vertical. In college, I took that passion to the Appalachians of New England, and eventually ended up living within striking distance of the Sierras. After two seasons filled with weekend trips to Tahoe, I wanted more: to turn what constituted a weekend activity for those around me, into the lifestyle I knew some lived. What did that mean to me? To ride one hundred days in a season.

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The Plan


 Setting out on this experience wasn’t really an adventure; it was very much premeditated. I had been ruminating over the idea for a while but I was content enough day-to-day that I didn’t feel the need to execute. Coming from the east coast, having a ski lease in Tahoe and going up 30 days a season was more than satisfying. I had a good setup: I could continue learning and making money as a software engineer, while having the flexibility to make weekly pilgrimages on the weekends, or whenever OpenSnow forecasted a powder day. Not bad.

After a while this routine was no longer satisfying. The winter of 2012-2013 was unusually dry and I had become a little bored. I didn’t want just to ride a hundred days, I wanted to ride a hundred days worth riding. There was one place kept coming up as a home base.

The Plan


 Setting out on this experience wasn’t really an adventure; it was very much premeditated. I had been ruminating over the idea for a while but I was content enough day-to-day that I didn’t feel the need to execute. Coming from the east coast, having a ski lease in Tahoe and going up 30 days a season was more than satisfying. I had a good setup: I could continue learning and making money as a software engineer, while having the flexibility to make weekly pilgrimages on the weekends, or whenever OpenSnow forecasted a powder day. Not bad.

After a while this routine was no longer satisfying. The winter of 2012-2013 was unusually dry and I had become a little bored. I didn’t want just to ride a hundred days, I wanted to ride a hundred days worth riding. There was one place kept coming up as a home base.

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Base Camp


Base Camp


Breckenridge, CO

A town nestled in the Rockies with a base elevation higher than the peak of Squaw Valley; within striking distance of many of the top ski resorts in the country: Vail, Keystone, even Telluride if needed. If I couldn't ride a hundred days here, I’d have move to Alaska.

It also seemed like a very conducive environment for life off the slopes. I had a high school friend living there, it had good aprés, fast internet, and was close enough to an airport.

After a little convincing, I was even able to continue working on Airbnb: I’d primarily work remotely, but I'd need to spend at least a week in San Francisco each month. For all intensive purposes, I’d still be an employee based in San Francisco, having to personally pay for everything like airfare, and lodging. Given the savings of living outside San Francisco combined with the increased quality of life, it was a dream come true.

 

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Migration


Once the course was set, everything came together pretty quickly. My girlfriend decided to quit her job, join me in Colorado and learn how to snowboard. We signed a lease sight unseen on a condo close to the lift – the street being being ‘Ski Hill’ and the existence of snowbanks on Street View sold me instantly. It even had a spare bedroom which would allow me to host others, and actively participate in the community we were building at Airbnb.

On October 27th, we packed Saabaru and headed to the Rockies.

Migration


Once the course was set, everything came together pretty quickly. My girlfriend decided to quit her job, join me in Colorado and learn how to snowboard. We signed a lease sight unseen on a condo close to the lift – the street being being ‘Ski Hill’ and the existence of snowbanks on Street View sold me instantly. It even had a spare bedroom which would allow me to host others, and actively participate in the community we were building at Airbnb.

On October 27th, we packed Saabaru and headed to the Rockies.

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Arrival


On October 30th, we made it to our new home, complete with a fresh veil of snow.

Arrival


On October 30th, we made it to our new home, complete with a fresh veil of snow.

The very next day, I woke up with a fever, an altitude induced tooth infection, and a newfound appreciation for dental insurance. The sacred sacrifice of the root canal.

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The Start


The Start


Fast forward a few work-from-bed days and I was able to start clocking in days as the season officially started. Over the next  few weeks, a routine emerged: a zen existence of riding in the morning, working through the evening, punctuated with the occasional aprés ski happy hour. I was content.

Nothing breaks routine like shock; the shock of spending months planning an experience, days driving across farmland and deserts to reach your destination, only to wake up back where you started:, on a leaky air mattress in your living room. How could a three hour trip on a Sunday evening, unravel an experience? Was the whole thing just a dream and now it was time to wake up?  The walk to work that day was truly surreal. In less than 24 hours going from standing on top of Peak 8 amid a snowstorm, to standing on top of Potrero Hill in 60° weather. To return to another routine, as if nothing had happened. I felt out of place.

 Morning view on Sunday

Morning view on Sunday

 Morning view on Monday

Morning view on Monday

On every subsequent trip, I became more disinterested in city life.

  • Morning coffee? A frigid morning run wakes me right up.

  • Taking Lyft to dinner? That costs as much as dinner for two days!

  • Late night partying? Aprés is more fun and I can be in bed by 10PM and catch first chair.

Timing is Everything


Timing is Everything


If there's one lesson that winter teaches you is that everything's ephemeral and timing is everything. There was a few times during the season where my timing was completely of: visiting Squaw in early February only to get a core shot in my powder board; flying to my dream destination of Whistler to get soaked to the bone to a point where I started paying attention to waterproofing ratings on jackets; all while missing arguably the best conditions back in Summit County. It’s all temporary, and that’s what makes it so precious.

 Squaw Valley on February  1st

Squaw Valley on February  1st

 Meanwhile back in Breckenridge...

Meanwhile back in Breckenridge...

 

On March 28th, with a foot of fresh snow fallen overnight, I rode my 100th day.

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Fin


Fin.

All in all, this season I was able to ride 126 days. My season ended on May 2nd, at Snowbird, where temperatures hovered around 60 degrees and I perfected my goggle tan. Our stop in Park City really signaled that winter was over and it was time for a change. Back to San Francisco; back to something new.

Fin


Fin.

All in all, this season I was able to ride 126 days. My season ended on May 2nd, at Snowbird, where temperatures hovered around 60 degrees and I perfected my goggle tan. Our stop in Park City really signaled that winter was over and it was time for a change. Back to San Francisco; back to something new.