My three favorite days of the year: Christmas, Mother’s Day, and that fine afternoon when Mr. postman delivers the new DPS catalog.
One must keep their sense of humor about the DPS skis campaign for world domination. After all, if you took it seriously you’d start wondering if they were building surveillance devices into their skis with NSA help. Indeed, those spy cams in your ski tips put Facebook data mining to shame.
In reality, DPS continues to accomplish that ever elusive mix of “core” and outright marketing hype that PR savants have pursued since the Egyptians made papyrus “stickers” to brand their products.
“We love print as a medium” Stephen Drake states in outright defiance of my new smartphone. But he and the folks at DPS pull it off with a catalog that defies the fanatical de-cluttering we’re doing here at WildSnow HQ. It’ll kick around for a while, what with a touching eulogy to Robert Liberman, who died in an AK avalanche last winter, along with frame worthy photo reproductions that inspire one to another pre-season workout.
Oh, and lest I forgot the essentials you _will_ find the usual sermon from Pastor Drake. This time he of course writes from Hokkaido, the new Haines? The subject is “snow surfing” but he might as well have titled the essay “soul surfer.” A mystical interpretation of a worldly experience is always fun to read — though one does have to be careful to note that some day perfect skis and perfect snow that form the “perfect unison” will be but a memory as you find out what really lies beyond the veil.
But in the meantime, as Stephan writes: “…if those ingredients line up, your life changes and you find yourself…living in tents or vehicles, working strange jobs, or on a whim buy tickets to faraway places to chase big, slow churning blobs of color on a weather map…”
I’m not sure that working strange jobs is necessary to the equation (been there, done it, perhaps still doing it), but I’ll claim that living in tents or vehicles a reliable mark of adventure ahead. Yet remember, when you’re sleeping in a snowcave in Hokkaido and reading your ramen stained DPS catalog for the fortieth time, don’t let the blur of back-to-back perfect surf days make you forget Christmas and Mother’s Day.
(And yes, acolytes striving for that transformational “DPSperience” in the white room, The Spoon is in there. “…A ski that requires very little up-and-down movement in deep powder…incredibly fast slarving.”)
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.