The Farmer of Alta doesn’t live in a complicated fashion. While most of us are formulating complex, overly though-out maneuvers that we hope will serve to benefit our lives, The Farmer is living proof that more times than not, the simplest answer is the best.
Dave Van Dame has been skiing at Alta, Utah for nearly 50 years. His patented red jacket, powder encrusted beard, and silky smooth turns are recognizable from miles away. He lives by the principles of resource minimization, and the age old saying, “waste not, want not”. His work to play ratio is the stuff of legend, with more time spent doing what he loves and less time spent doing, well, what he doesn’t. He’s become known as The Farmer due to the endless rows of turns he can paint into a hill of untracked powder. But these aren’t your average turns; they are pin-point accurate, meditatively inspired brush strokes into a canvas of undisturbed white. As Dave would say, he is, “cultivating a resource in order to reach its full potential”.
While we may not always think of it as such, snow is indeed a resource. Some resources grow nourishment or give fuel, but snow delivers a joy unlike any indulgent. The indescribable bliss that is obtained when reaping the benefit from an untracked field as those buttery turns are made is as valuable and meaningful as anything on the planet. We all need food in our bellies and roofs over our heads, but what are those utilities there for if not to help us procure happiness? This is why I say that the feelings that snow delivers are as necessary as the resources that give us life. If we’re living, we might as well LIVE! This seems to be something that Farmer Dave figured out a long time ago. If life is what you make of it, then Dave Van Dame has made one hell of a harvest, doing what any sane sentient being should do; utilizing their valuable time on earth by not chasing after fleeting status or temporary possessions, but by doing what they can to harvest joy and meaning out of the resources they have. Hats off Dave, I’ll be taking notes from your teachings for years to come.