If you believe everything you see on social media, then your friends are living the most amazing lives ever, full of clifftop sunsets, James Beard-worthy dinners and knee-deep powder days. Social media is like a well-curated highlight reel of our lives. But listen, sometimes life sucks. Meals are occasionally lackluster, hikes are sometimes boring and there are more hard crust days than powder days in any given ski season. We just don’t fill our Instagram feed with those sort of mundane details, because then people would know that our lives are just as boring as their’s most of the time. Take Whiskey Wednesday, which by most accounts, is the single greatest endeavor any group of middle-aged men has ever undergone. Ditching your family to ski and drink whiskey with your friends every single Wednesday of ski season is absolutely awesome. Except when it’s not.
We ski in the South, so sometimes, there are only a few runs open (and by a few runs, I mean a single strip of snow sandwiched between grass and dirt from the top of the mountain to the bottom) because of a week of 60-degree days accompanied by rain. And sometimes, the temperature drops drastically on a Wednesday just before you show up to ski, so the mountain turns on all their snow guns. Skiing through a series of snow guns is a punishment that southern skiers know too well. Take the snow, ice and wind from the most epic blizzard in recorded history, and concentrate it into a single, frosty blast aimed right at your face. Now ski through it 12 or so times on your way down the mountain. That’s what it’s like to ski Breckenwolf when the guns are blasting. Oh, and it’s cold as balls so your fingers are numb and you’ve got a beard so the snow from the guns turns into crusty ice that covers your face. And sometimes, all this happens on the Whiskey Wednesday when it’s your turn to be the designated driver, so you have to suffer through shitty conditions, blistering snow guns and sub-freezing temps sober. I love skiing powder sober. But ice? Through a snow gun white out? Those sort of conditions demand booze. Lots of booze.
So yeah, sometimes Whiskey Wednesday sucks. Except, let’s be honest; even when it sucks it’s awesome. Because we ski Breckenwolf, so there are jumps everywhere and jumps are fun to hit even when your face is stinging from the snow gun blasts. And there’s always a Chinese Downhill at the end of the night, and you get to push your friends over during a Chinese Downhill, and that’s fun even if you’re sober. And I like skiing with friends even when they’re not sober and I am. And I’ll be damned if there isn’t a certain charm to spending a few hours getting mild frostbite on your cheeks from skiing through manmade ice and snow coming at you at roughly 90 miles per hour out of the guns. Ah, Whiskey Wednesday. Even when it sucks, it’s awesome.