Martin is wearing his snow hat (above). In the shop. While he tunes your skis. A customer emailed me and said he was doing his snow dance three times a day, in his head, because he had school. He was worried that the lack of recent snow fall was his fault. A customer flew down from Seattle for Vacuum boots yesterday and told us about the great snow at Crystal Basin, his home resort. Thanks for that report I guess. My former employee and friend Dan who lives in Jackson Wyoming now sends me videos of him skiing deep powder in the backcountry there. Uh, thanks Dan. Many parts of the country have great snow conditions now. But not California. And not this upcoming week either. The weather reports show
…and more sun for the next week. I wore shorts to work last week when it was 72 degrees.
So what is going on? Why hasn’t it snowed in a while? Is this going to continue? What can we do? Well I don’t know the answers to these questions. I figure we pissed the snow God Ullr off somehow, but I don’t know how. I also know that every year is different. Lastly I know that it snows. It always snows. Some years are great (think, ahhh…last year?). Others are average. Some are below average. But every year there is snow. And skiing. And we don’t know how a year is going to shape up overall until it’s in the rear view mirror.
So is there anything to do about it? Probably not. But still I am doing three things:
–I dance naked under the moon in circles with garlic rubbed over my body chanting to Ullr.
–I worry a lot
–I lose a lot of sleep
Well I don’t really do that dance thing, or at least I haven’t for a few years, but I do the other two!
Nothing good comes from worrying or losing sleep. I simply can’t help it. Other people fret over a lack of snowfall because they want to ski. I do too. But I have the added burden of snowfall being important to my livelihood. If it doesn’t snow, I can’t feed myself or my employees! And that is what causes one to lose sleep!
So business had been booming this year in the early part of the season before it mattered if it had snowed yet. At that point we are selling dreams and expectations more than anything else. The customers come in the doors with expectations and high hopes. Now it is different. Most have not gone skiing yet as the resorts are open but the conditions are marginal. They still have high hopes but you can feel a bit of trepidation. Because the reality is nobody really knows. The long range weather scientists are calling for higher than average precipitation this winter but we haven’t seen it yet. And there are no guarantees.
Last week we actually started to feel it at the shop. Customer flow was down from what we had become used to. The staff levels are high now. The store set up is dialed. We are ready. And…a bit overstaffed. I had people dusting light fixtures to keep busy. Employees that asked to go home early or take an extra day off were met with a smile. I got caught up on paperwork.
But the register kept ringing. It seemed slow to me but we were still having $5,000 days. With Christmas and vacations upcoming, customers were still coming in and still buying gear. Then Thursday we did $8,000. Yesterday it was very busy. Seven Fischer Vacuum boots went out the door. We did $18,500! Wow. That’s a big day.
So I will try to relax and get more sleep (last night I got 4 hours). But like you, I want to ski! This next Tuesday and Wednesday I am off. Will I ski? No. I made other plans. Not happy about not skiing but I will just have to be patient. I mounted my new skis. My vacuum boots will get new intuition liners. We hope these new liners will be a great hop up kit to make the best boot out there even better (warmer, stiffer, lighter) and have been working with the importer to develop them. But I will wait to ski them. I want my first day to be great.
So we wait. And we pray. And we do our dances. They probably won’t help. But they might! And either way don’t dispel that notion to Martin. He looks adorable in that hat!