Making The Case For Going Alone. publisher Roger Lohr likes to go alone, sometimes on the spur of the moment. Anti-social? Expedient? Credit: Roger Lohr publisher Roger Lohr likes to go alone, sometimes on the spur of the moment. Anti-social? Expedient? 
Credit: Roger Lohr

Ski areas don’t really want to hear about people snowboarding by themselves because they like the multiplier effect of groups and families. At the risk of being called a loner, anti-social, or a follower of the British punk band the Anti-NoWhere League, I can surely admit that I like going SNOWBOARDING BY MYSELF. Self centered? You betcha!

One big benefit of going alone is avoiding the negotiation about the time to leave for the slopes, meeting up, when or if to stop for some food or drink, when to go home, etc. Sometimes, I decide in the morning on a given day that it is just right to be out there snowboarding and within 20 minutes I’m in the car and off to the mountain. It just doesn’t take much time to don the base layer, put in contact lenses, grab the accessories bag, boots, board, jacket/pants and car keys.

Of course, I must disclose that going snowboarding might mean only a 10-minute drive to the closest ski area but it also could be an hour or two to a further destination that has better snow conditions. I also admit that sometimes I like my favorite mountains because they have easier runs or a better lunch selection. And being a writer, going alone allows time flexibility to go snowboarding during the week or any day for that matter. When I go snowboarding with someone else, all of these issues become a group decision.

Getting to the ski area, I get on the chair lift pretty quickly after changing in the car, getting a lift ticket, and hopping on the lift. There is no waiting for any acquaintance with their idiosyncratic snow sport rituals. I’ve streamlined my rituals and I’m happy to practice them every outing.

Always open to meeting people on the chairlift, I’m willing to put my music on pause to have a conversation about anything. Some days I don’t meet anyone willing to chat and there are some other days when I meet someone who I’ll join to do some runs. There’s also the rare occasion when I’ll befriend the person that I meet on the chairlift but, more often, I ride the lift listening to my own tunes, selecting the desired runs, and navigating the mountain as I wish.

Based on momentary whim, I do some warm-up runs, cruise some easy runs, drop in on an occasional dash into the glades, turn on the jets on the groomers, pursue powder stashes, and so on. No discussions, no joint decisions, no concerns about the partner’s prowess, boredom, or whether he/she needs to hit the head. There’s no guilt about how much I’m getting for the value of the lift ticket. There’s no worry about bailing because that day’s snow or weather conditions are not conducive to having very much fun. I like riding in a snowstorm for the freshest powder, or doing runs in the spring time mush, and there’s no concern that perhaps I drove an hour to ride only three runs and decided to leave because I wasn’t feeling it.

Yeah, I like snowboarding by myself.


  1. Love this! Sounds like me, only with skiing.
    I hate waiting for people.
    Ride safe

  2. Robert Kutter says:

    I almost always ski alone because I don’t know anyone in my area who skis. So, I could identify with all of the points you make about skiing alone. There’re three ski areas within an hour’s drive of my home. Sometimes I’d enjoy a companion to talk to on the drive but I’m really getting accustomed to this solo experience and you made me even more confident. At least, I didn’t quit skiing because I have to go alone.

  3. RI Skier/Sailor says:

    Been skiing by myself for years for all the reasons you list! I love meeting people on the lift and perhaps catching up later. But trying to organize a group …. I don’t wait well (never did)!

    I do generally ski an area with a lot of ski patrol cover and don’t go into glades, powder unless I’m with someone or find someone going at the same time. Safety first, but fun always!

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