How to start your ski journal and why I love mine

One of my favorite things is my journal of every single one of my ski days since 2014. 

My skiing journal, where every one of my ski days since 2014 lives on the page.

That year I happened upon a stack of empty, old notebooks and thought of ways to use them. That same season I had coincidentally started keeping a notepad of some details of my ski days on my iPhone as a way to count just how many days I was able to tally each year. My infinite and boundless brain connected the two and, voila, I started keeping my days in hard copy. 

I have diligently kept track of the days, times, places, people and conditions of every one of my ski days since. 

Every time I write one, I go back and read one, which acts as a time machine to both the glorious waist deep powder days and the scratchy, icy, sub-zero days alike.

An example of a page from my skiing journal.

I’ve slapped stickers all over the front and back to spice up the appearance, but the treasures are what live inside. 

I’d recommend the exercise for a few reasons: 

  1. It helps me appreciate the good days and the bad days alike. Forgettable or downright miserable ski days are just a part of this experience. If you wanted something with fewer variables, you’d be bowling. 
  2. It helps me keep count. I’m not logging eye-popping ski day totals each year. In fact, I think I topped out in the 40s a few years ago and haven’t sniffed it since, but the log is a good way to measure up these years of my life. 
  3. The book also helps my memory of good spots to ski and how each mountain acts throughout the day. For all of the hills, areas, mountains and resorts, I have time stamped notes on where the goods were good, where the goods were bad and the time of year I skied. 
  4. By listing who I skied with in each of these days, I have a pretty good record of some of the best times of my life, too. 

Think this tickles your fancy? Here’s some tips to get you started: 

  1. Buy a good book. The college-ruled composition notebook I use started to fall apart in the last few years. The pages are now paper clipped in there and I have to treat it like the Declaration of Independence so it doesn’t break. Buy a nice bound book with plenty of pages, you won’t regret it. 
  2. Jot down your ideas right away. The entries in which I waited a week to try and conjure the details of a ski day are always more bland and less interesting. Take the 5 minutes that night or the following day to get your thoughts down. Other tip: If you don’t have access to the book, jot a quick iPhone note down to help you remember for later. 
  3. Add stickers and images. I don’t have my journal illustrated with photos, trail maps or stickers, but in retrospect, I think it would be a nice touch. You don’t need to visually chronicle every icy Midwest escapade, but that bluebird view from the top of Grand Targhee of the Grand Tetons? That’ll do.
  4. Guest entries. This is another idea i have not acted on, but i think it would be fun to have someone else I skied with scribble a line or two in there from time to time. It would be a good change of pace and it would be good to have a fact-checker keep me in my place.

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