The top ten excuses to use on a powder day


School, work, that coffee date with your girlfriend (or boyfriend) — it all gets in the way of the more important things in life. Like that midweek powder day when the slopes are empty, the snow is deep and it’s time for fresh tracks. While your significant other might understand your sudden change of plans, that boss or professor could be a bit harder to convince. So, for the naysayers, those who don’t appreciate that the only reason you’re here in Boulder is because it’s close to mountains and snow and riding and skiing, we offer up these tried and true excuses. They’ll always work, most of the time, sometimes.

“I was sick.”

This is the best excuse possible. But it may not work if you’re often severely ill for multiple single days at a time, returning to your obligations with a goggle tan and shit-eating grin on your face. Our suggestion is to watch the weather and score two to three days of storm skiing when a big front moves in. Ride as hard as you can from the opening chair to the last, to the point of utter exhaustion. Then when you show up looking worked, dehydrated and can hardly stay awake during daylight hours, people will applaud you for being so tough and “fighting through it.”

“My mom was sick.”

Everyone loves mom. How nice of you to take a day off to care for her. Wait, mom doesn’t live in Boulder? She’s here visiting friends who have jobs and can’t nurse her back to health.

“I got stuck in the ditch.”

The ideal excuse for those sneaky mid-week upslope storms when Eldora gets whipped into shape. It resonates because, if you haven’t noticed yet, Boulder does a woefully inadequate job of plowing most streets during storms, making driving for everyone a nightmare when it snows.

“My roommate got stuck
in the ditch.”

(see above) You’re a good friend, how nice of you to spend the morning shoveling your roommate’s car out.

“I thought it was a snow day.”

Again, an excuse best used for those upslope storm events when conditions are prime at Eldora, Loveland and Berthoud Pass. Plead ignorance and confusion as to how “snow days” work and admit that you’re scared of going outside when so much as a snowflake hits the ground.

“I had to go to the hospital.”

Save this one for when you were going to use another excuse, but accidentally kiss that tree on your last run, thus necessitating 12 stitches in your forehead.

“I had an emergency.”

This excuse needs to be delivered with the kind of serious vagueness that implies something horribly unfortunate and highly personal has occurred. What kind of emergency? Well, you’d rather not talk about it, but it’s incredibly stressful and very, very private.

“My friend’s dog/cat/gerbil went missing.”

Boulder is a town that actually changed the definition of pet owner to “pet guardian” out of some sort of bizarre emotionally charged political discourse. You won’t want to use this excuse in a normal community, but in Boulder, where pets occupy a higher priority than children, your concern for a missing feline (which was actually sleeping underneath the couch) is completely understandable, acceptable and noble.

“It was my birthday.”

A last resort for when you’ve used up every other excuse (including “the dog ate my homework”) because it’s pretty easy for suspicious types to actually check and see if it really is your birthday.

“I went skiing/riding.”

Sometimes, honesty is the best policy. Especially when a storm is massive and conditions are all time. Remember, you are not the only person who ended up in Boulder because of the town’s proximity to fantastic skiing, snowboarding, mountain and rock climbing. Your boss, professor and significant other is likely here for the same reasons. If they are, then you are stoked and perhaps the next time it snows 60 inches in 24 hours they’ll cancel work/your class/the meeting. If they’re not here for the mountains well, too bad for them: maybe one day they’ll understand.

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