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THE COMMUTERS: Living in a world of limbo

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THE COMMUTERS: Living in a world of limbo

Postby Snow Nymph » Wed Mar 08, 2006 7:37 pm

THE COMMUTERS: Living in a world of limbo
By Matt Tarka

http://powdermag.com/features/onlineexc ... commuters/



THE COMMUTERS: Living in a world of limbo
By Matt Tarka

To many, the word ‘commuter’ evokes visions of the working masses struggling through gridlock traffic to and from their displaced dream homes. To others, ‘commuter’ may take on the meaning of the college student who lives at home with the parents and shuttles to and from campus as needed. In The Mountains, Commuter is coming to mean those who work in The City and escape back to their refuge in The Mountains at any opportunity.


These Commuters occupy a gray area and find themselves in a world of limbo. They aren’t locals. Still, they may know the mountain and powder stashes as well or better than many locals. With many boasting a respectable 50 plus ski days per season, Commuters don’t fit the tourist category even though they show up mainly on weekends. The Commuter is prone to know the projected storm totals and detailed forecasts for The Mountains while being largely indifferent or oblivious to the weather in The City. When posed with seemingly easy questions such as “Where do you live?”, they often pause, look up at the ceiling, and scratch their heads because they don’t really know how to answer. If it’s a matter of legal residence that the question seeks to discover, the answer is The City. If it’s a matter of “home is where the heart is”, the answer is undoubtedly, The Mountains.

Fueled by a huge stoke factor, they follow through on overwhelming desire to spend time in The Mountains while they often curse themselves for not being there full-time. This type of dedication requires accepting long drives, knowing each good coffee shop along the path, cursing the rising gas prices, and dreaming of how the snow will be when it’s finally time to ski. On the personal side, the Commuter often is stretching the bounds of tolerance in relationships, withholding promises to friends and family, or downright passing on any social or romantic life back in The City. They may even have more friends in The Mountains than they do in The City. For years, The Commuter will remember the days of bottomless powder or sticking a line at the cost of increasing the tally of missed family functions, breaking up with their significant other, or skipping another Super Bowl party because, yet again, a dump required their presence.


Perhaps no one typifies The Commuter better than Snow Nymph, a familiar face in the Eastern Sierra. She recently ended a streak of being gone 86 consecutive weekends from her city domicile in pursuit of mountain adventures, mainly peak bagging and playing in the snow. During her streak, Snow Nymph accumulated approximately one entire month behind the wheel on her butt navigating her trusty 4Runner through the night to another powder day or burly trailhead. Small in stature but huge in stoke and dedication, Snow Nymph always has a smile and camera near at hand to post pictures on her well-known web site and otherwise spread her love of The Mountains. As the staff of Powder magazine may testify, a person doesn’t need to be based in the high country to live for and spread the stoke of skiing, snow, or The Mountains. When back in the office on Mondays, coworkers quickly go from asking the Commuters “What did you do this weekend?” to “How was it?” to not even bothering. Even without the telltale signs of raccoon eyes, creaking knees, legs that avoid every stairwell possible, and a permanent grin of fulfillment, there is no question that the Commuter did not go to The Mountains. Coworkers stop asking how the latest adventure went because the responses, filled with terms such as cold smoke, coulies, corn snow, hucks, or wind-buffed, are totally alien. The blank stares and polite nods are testament to how different those two worlds really are. Back in The City, no one really understands what would possess someone to spend every possible spare moment in The Mountains. It’s easy for the Commuter to feel a sense of detachment and longing for the next time they head to The Mountains. Back in The Mountains, they will be in the place where their friends understand what they say and why they choose to spend scant time in The City.

When the Commuter hears the sound of their boots clicking into the bindings, they are back in their realm. When they accelerate down the fall line, their world collapses to that familiar and welcomed point that skiers know but often are at a loss to describe. They know it. They feel it. It’s the overwhelming sensation that keeps bringing them back and makes everything in They City vanish, at least for the moment.
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison


http://snownymph.smugmug.com/



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Postby Rosabella » Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:46 pm

Pretty cool, Snow Nymph!!! :rockon: You are becoming imortalized!!

I do envy how you are able to get away to go on all your adventures. I know we all make choices, but I feel lucky if I'm able to get up to the mountains a couple times a month in the summer. (that's why I'm so excited about my trip this summer). I do admire you.... you go, girl!
Last edited by Rosabella on Thu Mar 09, 2006 5:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby hikerduane » Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:59 pm

I think I saw your comment sometime last year on Backpacker.com. Way to go. In the last 16 months I have missed going "home" on two weekends and on those I was bping in Yosemite or snowcamping off the Carson Pass, plus the city isn't as big as where you work.
Piece of cake.
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Postby Snow Nymph » Mon Mar 13, 2006 10:12 pm

Since this article, I checked my calendar, and I missed 8 weekends since '99.

:D :D :D :D
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison


http://snownymph.smugmug.com/
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Postby madeintahoe » Tue Mar 14, 2006 4:55 pm

SN!!!!!! what an awesome story that is! That is so cool I think. Are there any pictures in the article?
Thank you so much for posting that....I would not have seen it if you did not post here :D
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Postby BSquared » Tue Mar 14, 2006 7:34 pm

*Sigh* for some of us, it would be a really long commute! ;) One of my retirement dreams is to live in a place where it would make sense to get a season pass! :cool:
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Postby SteveB » Tue Mar 14, 2006 11:21 pm

Snowy, you immortal hiking monster you!! :p You're definately one for us all to aspire to be like! ;) Now, if we could just get you into mountain biking like you snowboard, then you'll rule the WORLD!! :D
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Postby Snow Nymph » Tue Mar 14, 2006 11:36 pm

Steve,
I've been on the stationary bike for two weeks now. :) If I can find the front tire, I might get out and ride out in the Sierra. Its a road bike, which has been sitting around since ~'94 (I did some road races back then, up to a Century bike ride). Image

SnowDude keeps telling me to get a mountain bike, but I want to make sure I will continue riding it before investing in another sport. :unibrow: The stationary bike is boring, but I'm getting such a great workout, so I might be riding out in the Sierra this summer! :eek: :D

MiT, there were a couple of pics, but only other cars and the back of peoples heads. Not sure who took them. I couldn't copy the pics.

BSquared, My retirement dream is for it to get here ASAP!
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison


http://snownymph.smugmug.com/
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Postby Windwalker » Tue Mar 14, 2006 11:50 pm

Way to go Cori! Awesome article....Congrats!!!
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Postby ridgeline » Thu Mar 16, 2006 6:28 am

work on a book and retire early! You have the material.
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Postby BSquared » Thu Mar 16, 2006 6:39 am

That's it! She can collaborate with Markskor! Brilliant! :eek:
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Postby ERIC » Thu Mar 16, 2006 8:08 pm

Heck, we should just take a HST collection RIGHT NOW and publish the darn thing for them before someone else does!! :lol:
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