82 and Counting
“It may not be the smartest thing to do,” Johnny said, “but I think I want to try.”
Well, as many of his friends can attest, when given a choice, Johnny Love hasn’t done the smart thing every time. But when he called me to ask my opinion on whether or not I thought “it would count” towards his 81 month streak of skiing at least one day every month– to skin just a short way from the road on Independence Pass and ski back– I said “Absolutely. And I’d love to help.”
Ordinarily I would have suggested he ski more than a small stretch of snow– most similar in pitch and half the length of Snowmass’s Fanny Hill– to count towards his streak, but six weeks ago he had an accident. Johnny broke two vertebrae, three ribs and dislocated his hip on his final run down Aspen, after hitting the monster kicker at the base of Little Nell, at full throttle. (Maybe not the smartest thing?)
What’s done is done, and maybe there’s a lesson learned, but for the moment what was most important to Johnny was to get his May ski day completed and he was looking for someone to go with him.
Just for background, those who make it a goal to ski every month have it easy here in Colorado, at least for most of the year, but the lean summer months bring a few challenges which often beg the question as to what– i.e. how long, how many turns– officially counts. I happen to think that “Turns All Year” goal is such a personal thing that it’s really up to the individual, but being a part of the similar discussion pertaining to 14er ski descents, I could understand where he was coming from. For some info, check out this website, where Johnny’s 81 months looks pretty strong.
So just to make sure everything went smooth and there was no “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” moment, he and I skinned a short way up towards Blue Mountain on Monday, the 31st, and we skied back down. It may not have been at the high level he prefers, among other issues the backbrace makes it challenging to turn, but he made it back to the truck and called it good. That’s 82 consecutive months and it’s a good bet that the next 82 months will only be easier, so long as he lays off the 70 foot backflips in the future.
Nice job Johnny.