21 years and counting, Summit County Locals nab first chair at Arapahoe Basin on Opening Day
The 2014-2015 shred season is officially underway in Colorado as Arapahoe Basin opened for it’s 68th year today. Throngs of eager shredders lined up and waited anxiously for the one running lift to strap in and shred down the glorious and notorious white ribbon of death. Snow making efforts coupled with a foot of fresh earlier this week allowed the unpretentious resort to open today with one run and a mini-park.
Stoke level was at an all time high, but no one was more amped than Summit County locals, Trailer Tom and Nate Dogggg. This marked the duos’ twenty-first and nineteenth consecutive first chairs of the season. The diehard shreds made it their mission back in 1993 to get the highly coveted first chair of the season and have been dedicated to earning that title year after year.
After camping at the base of A Basin on a chair for two nights in relatively chilly temps, the duo got up before the sun this morning, dutifully got in line, and snagged yet another first chair.
We caught up with Nate in between runs to find out what keeps him inspired, the trials he’s had in the past nineteen years and how many more first chairs he hopes to bag.
What’s your the inspiration to get first chair?
My inspiration to get first chair comes from Trailer Tom. He started me out with the thought and has been with me ever since.
After nineteen years and counting, what’s the feeling you get from getting first chair?
After yet another year getting first chair, it’s always a a feeling of excitement and anticipation for the season to come. It’s the start of a new year and fresh starts.
What the best first chair you’ve ever gotten and why?
The best first chair we have ever gotten was the first one and now the present one. The first was the sense of accomplishment. And the present is knowing how far we’ve come and how much further we can go.
Have you ever had to scramble for first chair?
The worst beef for first chair was three years ago when some drunks showed up at 3 A.M. claiming they were taking first chair. Over the course of six hours, it finally was resolved by the GM of ABay and we got the chair.
How long have you had to camp out to get that first turn?
There are plenty of stories to be had. The longest we’ve waited has been 2 weeks. And as far as gnarliest moment… There has been a few. From freezing weather blizzard, white out conditions, to being torn on which resort it would open first. There has been a few years where we had to change game plans in the middle of the night because a different resort would be opening first and we had to get there. A Basin doesn’t allow camping in the parking lot, so we sleep under or on a chair under the awning right at the base. This year I slept there for two nights.
How many runs did you normally take on day one?
First day I always plan on taking at least one run, and maybe a few more if lift lines are minimal. The run is horrible. Skinny and icy. And the lines build so quick that it makes it rather unsafe. It is best to stay clear of the trouble and injuries on the first day of the season so that you can enjoy the whole season.
Much respect to your dedication…How many seasons of first chairs do you hope to bag?
I hope that I can continue grabbing first chair for another 20 years. But as someone passed the first chair torch to us. We will eventually have to pass it on as well..
Dedication its finest!