Summer Brain vs. Winter Brain: A Snow Reporter Returns

Granite, mmm! No! Powder! New snowboard boots? No, climbing shoes! Ah! It’s that time of year where my winter brain starts battling my summer brain for control, leaving me wanting to curl up with a book next to a warm Fall fire.

As the resident Snow Reporter here at Heavenly Mountain Resort, there are two false assumptions that people often make about who I am and what I do.

The first is that I live for winter… only. While it’s true that snowboarding was the catalyst to a major upheaval in my life and career track about four years ago, I’ve since become a classic case that we see so often here in Tahoe. I came here for the winter, but I’ve stayed here for the summers. Let me clarify. I DO live for winter and in the dead of it, I’m a fiend for powder like any other skier or rider. But, in the off-season my brain and body go through a complete and whole-hearted metamorphosis into whole new set of activities and passions. All I’ve thought about for the last four months is rock climbing, hiking, backpacking, camping, Parkour, reading and writing.

But alas, without fail, the seasons change every year and this year the passing thunderstorms were appropriately timed with my return to my winter position here at Heavenly. “It’s coming…” they seemed to say with a taunting mixture of allure and anxiety.

That’s because of the second assumption: that all a snow reporter does is report weather and lift conditions. Why in heaven’s name would she return to the mountain in September? It’s still 80 degrees outside? Well, Friends, there’s a lot to do before opening day, less than two months away (holy cow!).

For one, I’ve got to find two awesome reporters to help me hold it down over here. We’re expanding the role of the snow reporters this year, as well, and they’ll be going up on the mountain shooting photos and videos to share with you on our social media platforms. Exciting stuff for the right candidates! Speaking of, the job has been posted, along with a ton of other positions that could allow you to spend your winter on the mountain!

I won’t bore you with the minutia of all the other details that need to get hammered out before the season starts; I’m sure you get the idea.

So, I sit here, after months outside, trying to move my brain from one mode to another and I appeal to you, Dear Readers…. how do you make the transition each year? One thing that helps me is to attend all of the local snow film premieres and events. I also like to start training my legs in the gym as the days get shorter. What do you do to make a swift and painless transition from your summer brain to your winter brain?

Looking forward to what they say is going to be another amazing La Nina season….  

Megan Hammitt – Snow Reporter



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