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If I lived in San Francisco

Walk a mile in a Bay Area skier’s shoes… or ski boots
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If I lived in San Francisco I would drive to Tahoe every weekend. I’d scour craigslist rentals in the fall as Karl the Fog starts to die off. I’d try and find a good line on a shared ski house on the West Shore. I’d choose over there, because I’d want to stop at Tahoe House before heading to Squaw Valley. Also, Fire Sign is the bomb, but everybody knows that.

I’d wait anxiously for a ski magazine to show up in my mailbox. When it did, I’d invite my ski buddies, the people I haven’t seen all summer, to meet up at a bar. Over beers, we’d argue and debate the merits of 100-underfoot skis and 130 flex with walk-mode boots. Most of all, I’d say a lot of “I’m gonnas.”

I’m gonna ski Kirkwood. I’m gonna try a back flip. I’m gonna take vacation days and an Avy 1 course. I’m finally gonna tour in Desolation Wilderness. I’m gonna drink no fewer than 1,000 Bud Lights at The Chammy and pet no fewer than 500 dogs in the village.

With enough “I’m gonnas” and PBRs, I’d throw down my credit card on and order the perfect pair of downhill destroyers. I’d pay overnight shipping costs even though it’s August. I’d buy my pass. Within two hours I’d realize I’d spent one month of 300 square foot apartment rent on skiing. I’d rethink my food budget the next month. Tech companies pay well, but the cost of living down here is so bad, I’d think to myself. I’d dream about living in Tahoe one day. “No jobs,” I’d say out loud.

I’d read weather reports and follow Tahoe pro skiers on Twitter and Instagram. I’d see Cody Townsend and Elyse Saugstad got a new puppy, J.T. Holmes jumped off something, and Michelle Parker rehabbed her knee. I’d start going to the gym to get in ski shape.

I’d go to the ski movie premieres at the Palace of Fine Arts to get the 2-for-1 Squaw ticket and the free ticket to Mt. Bachelor. I’d wonder why the TGR guys party so much harder than the Warren Miller guys. I’d get Ian McIntosh’s autograph on a North Face poster. That guy would be my favorite skier, because he f-ing rips! I’d share a good story about weekend warriors on Facebook. That’s me, I’d think. The weekend warrior. Damn straight.

I’d see Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows had a new app. I’d download it. I’d follow it religiously at first and then not so much. I’d see they were going to open Red Dog, so I’d pack on Tuesday in anticipation of Friday. I’d wait in traffic just to get a few runs in. No matter. I’m tough. Mind over matter. I’m the weekend warrior. And you can get really good Instagrams up there.

If I lived in San Francisco I would drive to Tahoe every weekend. Tahoe would be my sanctuary, the place where I could escape the noise and problems of the Bay and the relentlessness of my bullshit job. I’d feel like I belonged in the traffic line into the valley. I’d feel at home in the KT-22 line and wonder why it was so long and the people so disgruntled. I’d listen to what the locals said. I’m not a local. I’m from Minnesota. And I’d wonder.

In lieu of compensation, Moonshine Ink will donate Mr. Rogge’s word rate, at his request, to the nonprofit Alpine Initiatives. To learn more, please click-in to

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March 8, 2018