Snow shaming: A guide

My friends won big on a chase to the Cascades this morning and I missed out. Luckily, they are educated on the perils of snow shaming. Are you?

Suffocation warning sign in the lift line at Mt. Baker this morning. (Sat. Jan. 27)

Yesterday, Mt. Baker reported 25″ of new snow. Today, another 14″. The photo above was taken by my friends and fellow chasers who are positioned nicely to reap the rewards.

They pulled the trigger on flights late afternoon Friday and arrived at the Baker parking lot in the wee hours this morning. They are flying back tomorrow. While a tricky and cumbersome chase, it paid off. I decided not to go…

Much goes through your mind when you bail on a chase that delivers. It begins as a mixture of despair and regret. Denial is soon to follow. Right now, I’m toeing the line between lashing out and hammering out an angry MSJ post, leaning towards the former. Hold on.

Snow shaming

The photo above is really the only correspondence I’ve received from my friends in the Cascades this morning and I find that approach tactful.

That image was more than enough to make me jealous, but it stops short of snow shaming me for missing out on the successful chase.

Snow shaming is when someone brags about their powder day to someone who missed out. This time, it is my own fault. The worst kind of snow shaming, however, is when skipping the chase is out of your control.

Snow shaming can be done directly via text message, FaceTime or a hootin’ n’ hollerin’ phone call. Like many of society’s most pressing concerns, the worst snow shaming happens on social media.

I introduced one of those friends to Instagram about a year ago and I think I ruined his life. Ski Instagram is a beautiful thing, but it forbids you from escaping every powder day happening across the world. Heck, I was sitting on a beach in Hawaii last June and was still snow shamed by athletes in New Zealand and Chile.

Really, one cannot expect people to stop sharing their deep, deep days. I enjoy seeing them, too. Really, it’s inescapable. Skiing Instagram is here to stay and therefore, so is unintentional snow shaming.

In essence, there’s not much we can do about social media exacerbating this crushing phenomena. It’s a timeless problem in the world of skiing. I’m sure snow shaming telegrams were sent from mountain towns back to the plains, as were parcels of mail. Now, it’s faster, clearer and more visual.

Control what you can control, right? So, just don’t directly snow shame. It’s easy for me to say sitting here in Minnesota, which makes me admire my friends’ restraint on the west coast. Most likely, I’m giving them too much credit and they’re just having too much fun to shoot me another text.

My advice: There’s no way to avoid snow shaming. So, next time the chase is on, just go get on the damn plane.

 

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