Seth Hill, Pro Snowboarder who calls Denver home, had the opportunity to catch first chair of the year at Arapahoe Basin this year and he jumped on it. Turns out it wasn't just first chair in Colorado, but first chair in all of North America; which is one hell of an honor. To find out what it took for Seth, Zach Griffin, Tom Miller and Justin Smith to earn this heavily sought after achievement, Seth put together a great write-up on his website which we have for you right here:
Is it worth it?
Arapahoe Basin, First Chair...... Is it worth it?
To be honest when the opportunity was presented a few weeks ago I really wasn't so sure. With Nate Dogggg retiring after his amazing 20 consecutive streak last year, and a chance to fill his seat on opening chair this year I started weighing the pros and cons. Don't get me wrong I love snowboarding, and am more than pumped to kick off the 2016/17 nice and early. But spending the night in the freezing cold Abasin parking lot, just to grab the coveted title of first chair didn't sound that appealing. It was hard to really see the point until that time came; the crowds piled up, the excitement rose, and the hype finally made sense. This first chair means so much more, it officially kicks off winter; it means the mountains are open, and we can finally do the thing that makes us the most happy again.
When you think about it, the idea of the first anything is a pretty cool feeling. I can now say that I rode the first of the entire winter, but what's more I worked for it. I think that's really what makes that first chair so coveted, it's that concept of putting in the effort to make sure you get it. That means hanging out day and night with only your couple homies, taking shifts sleeping in the cold under the chairlift and warding off any drunk stragglers trying to steal your spot in line. If you think about it, there aren't many opportunities to work for it at the resort, so when the chance comes to make something worth it why not.
As far as the day goes I'd say it was a success:
10:00am Thursday load the car and head up to the mountain
11:30am get to abasin, say what up to the boys who had been there for a whole day already.
12:30pm head into town to go grab supplies (beer/ snacks)
1:30-4pm shoot the shit, hang out play pinball and snowboard monopoly.
4pm try and sort out season pass.
5:30pm finally send the liability waver to Vail resorts after they decided the one I filled out at Abasin wasnt good enough.
5:30-10 Abasin Photo taking mission
10-12 Setting up the sleeping arrangements for the night, air mattress set up in the back of the Subaru, sleepying pad set up for first chair
12-3 Try to get some sleep in the car
3-5 Try to get some sleep underneath the chair
5-7 Hang in line, get snowboard gear on and do some interviews with the news and get excited for that first chair
7-9 So stoked for first chair and so much excitement behind, definitely as much of a 9am lift party as Ive ever seen
9am countdown to first chair and the inaugural banner rip
9-11am Shred our faces off, enjoy some surprisingly good snow and have a blast sliding sideways
1pm Back in Denver to enjoy some 80 degree fall biking around the city.
You can find the original write-up from Seth Hill here: http://sethhillsnowboarding.blogspot.com/2016/10/is-it-worth-it.html
Here's the opening day edit from Seth and friends!
Thanks a lot Seth, and Congrats to you, Zach, Tom, and Justin!
Happy shredding everyone, have a great season!