Tips For Surviving The White Ribbon of Death
The anticipation to shred has been building amongst you as you have attended premiere after premiere and bought countless snowboard movies to help stoke you. Now it’s officially fall and not that quasi fall everyone claims in August when they suddenly feel a cold gust of wind. These are the surefire signs that the season is about to happen and you know you’re just itching to get out there and ride your stunt stick and clock days on that new pass you bought to the local mountain. You’re probably dreaming of that first day back with its sunny bluebird skies and fresh pristine snow that has never been shot out of a gun forming death crystals of awesome whiteness. In fact all those tricks you practiced in your mind over and over again were all landed first try on film and instantly posted on your facebook for the whole world to see. Damn you are just on top of the world! Oh wait we live in reality and that’s not how it’s going to go down.
The one thing you can bank on for opening day is that it’ll be on the White Ribbon of Death or W.R.O.D. That strip of snow that’s about the length of two football fields long filled with every snow aficionado within a 5 hour drives radius. Thankfully for you I’m a veteran of this ceremonious occasion and have bore witness to many first ascents on the arduous chairlift rides of the preseason.
Now I know you’re running on four hours of sleep from the anticipation and probably some kind of high fructose infused heart pumping liquid but under no circumstances are you to get there early. You and everyone else that loves to ride had the same idea of rolling out of bed ass crack early and camping out to get on the chairlift. Showing up late is always key and I don’t mean like an hour or two after opening I mean like four hours or more later. By then everyone is either eating, drunk off their ass in the parking lot, or pissed at the long lines and leaving.
The other advantage of showing up late is you just might get lucky and find a spot that isn’t located in another time zone. This saves you that trek from the furthest depths of unpaved parking to the resort and means you can dip in and out in no time.
Sure you just plunked down a size-able chunk of money on a whole new kit and you want everyone to see that you mean business because you spent more on this than you paid total for your car. Cool you’re that awesome dude that’s riding the newest gear in fact it’s so fucking fresh it’s still got the cheat sheet sticker on the bottom (Yes every year I see at least 3 people on opening day riding with stickers on the base of their boards). Under no circumstances are you to cry when you drill one of the many rocks on the WROD that lurk there to bite your board and if someone drills your precious set up causing scratches you are not allowed to be mad at them. Why can’t you be mad? Because you were stupid enough to actually care about a snowboard no wait you were just stupid enough to ride it opening day. Now if you don’t care about your snowboard then I suggest preseason rock jibbing it builds character.
While the weather is colder than average since your favorite resort was able to make snow that is not an excuse to dress up like you’re some kind of arctic explorer. Yeah I’m looking at you guy in the full North Face puffy, survival backpack, and full blown ice axe poking out of your bag. I don’t know where you’re going on this 300 feet of vertical but I can be certain you are not going to need any of that. In fact why are you set to go mountaineering on a resort that’s steepest pitch isn’t even 30 degrees? As you can tell common sense seems to skip some people due to the high levels of stoke on their brain. Dress accordingly but whatever you do don’t try to imitate the Stay Puft Marshmellow Man.
Love going fast and doing hard carves? Well you’re in luck it’s prime people slalom season so use them as cones and see how fast and close you can go to them while ripping turns. Safety patrol might not be down with this but remember you pay their salary so that pass you bought pays for them. You should always remind them of this and never hesitate to point out that they are your bitch!
Booze is always a fixture opening day and should be encouraged but only in moderation. No one wants to see anyone so drunk they’re passed out in the parking lot pissing themselves (once again this is something I’ve witnessed more than once). Cans are encouraged bottles aren’t no one wants to run over glass on the hill or to have it hit them when your inebriated ass drops it from the chairlift.
Now above all else have fun it’s opening day don’t take it seriously it’s only snowboarding. Just remember these tips to surviving opening day.