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Last year I took one big step toward adulthood, kissing my vagabond life behind and welcoming a “career” with – somewhat – open arms. While I love my job, my nine-to-five schedule and regular dentist appointments (yay insurance!), there’s one big and very important thing no one told me.

Ski conditions are always better midweek.

Sometimes, "snow-vember" can take us by surprise, giving the East Coast what feels like a record setting start to the ski season. If all the stars align, the snow gods will then continue to shower us with white powdery blessings in December, setting up the Adirondacks for a not-to-be-missed ski season. Such was the case at the end of 2018 and beginning 2019.

With consistent 5-8 inch days in the forecast, my mind quickly drifted to winters past, when "ski bum" jobs meant skiing all day and working at night.

Yes, I will always cherish those days, but you know what living the good life doesn't get you?

Sick days.

I once read a quote that went, “Sometimes a sick day is a really sick day.” And nothing has healing qualities quite like a powder day. If you're thinking that ditching work for a (ski) "sick day" is too risky, fear not. I’ve taken one for the team. (Please remember, though, that if you are actually sick or ill, it is strongly advised you rest up at home so you can get back to your healthy, skiing self in no time.)

Last week I took a "sick day" of my own. When Mother Nature lends her hand, Whiteface Mountain delivers some of the best skiing in the East. Despite the rule "no friends on a powder day," a few of my favorite people joined me. No lift lines, no crowded slopes. It was a bluebird day coupled with perfect conditions. I may not have been sick, but nature's medicine sure did cure my ski-deprived soul.

Feel a cold coming on? Follow these steps:

Step 1: Check the forecast

If you're going to use a sick day, or any day for that matter, make sure it will be one to remember. Don't waste it on poor conditions.

Step 2: Make a plan

Now that you know a storm's rolling in, you’re going to have to think ahead. Start coughing. Tell your co-workers you think you might be coming down with something. Whatever you do, don't talk about skiing. There’s a good chance everyone knows you’re a shredder and they’ll see right through your "sick day" if you tell them where you’d really rather be.

Step 3: Make the call

If you’re not a good actor maybe opt for an email. Either way, practice ahead of time so it will be believable. Maybe throw in an “I’ll come in if you want but I don't want to get everyone else sick.” Now you’re the office hero.

Step 4: Leave the phone at home

Let me guess? You’re at the mountain, there are no lift lines, powder stashes galore, and endless summit laps to be had. You're going to want to brag to the world. Leave your ego behind. That’s how you get caught. Look at it more like a mental health day and leave the phone at home. Make it all about you and the slopes.

Step 5: Cover your tracks

If the sun is out, you might want to bring sunblock. Nothing gives away your secret like a goggle tan. Similarly, just because Judy in accounting keeps all your other secrets, it doesn't mean she’ll keep this one. Tell no one!

Step 6: More snow in the forecast?

See Step 1.

Ready to "catch the flu?" Find lodging here and check out this insider's guide to skiing Whiteface Mountain!


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