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Five Reasons I Can’t Wait for Ski Season

November 14, 2012

Ski season is already underway at some resorts in Colorado, but in my world, the season doesn’t kick off until the first mountain in my neighborhood opens.  This year, that’s this Friday in Vail

Now that it is officially winter in my neck of the woods (temps didn’t get above the 20s yesterday), I’m all geared up mentally and wanted to share the top 5 things that make me look forward to winter.

Jumping for joy because the season is HERE!

5. The sense of camaraderie throughout the valley

As soon as winter rolls around, everyone in town starts speaking the same language.  There’s a sense of unity that I don’t quite feel during the rest of the year.  Over the summer, locals tend to have more varied interests.  You might spend your weekends hiking, kayaking or mountain biking, to name a few options.  But come winter, we all seem to have the same plans on our days off. 

The weather and snow conditions move beyond  topics for small talk to passionate conversations.  After a day on the hill, everyone you talk to is either excited to compare stories about their “epic” days, or jealous because they had to work that day.  Everyone is on Team Snow Sports, regardless of whether you’re a skier or snowboarder.

4. Apres Ski 

As I just mentioned, a big part of the fun of a great ski day is the chance to talk about it with your friends.  Enter apres ski.  The bars in most ski villages start filling up around 3 p.m. with skiers and riders capping off the day with a beer.  (A beer after skiing tastes better than any other I’ve tasted.)  It’s always fun to debrief the day with the friends you rode with, and even more fun to walk in and see a bunch of other friends who you didn’t even know were on the mountain that day. 

The infamous “shotski” may be a sign that apres is going to turn into a long night…

Also, because I am apparently aging far faster than I’d like, I love it when it becomes socially acceptable to start your “nightlife” at 3 p.m. and be at home ready for bed by 8.  All the better to get up early the next day and hit the hill again!

3. Social Ski Days

On days when the conditions aren’t great or I’m just not feeling up for a hard-charging ski day, I still love getting up on the mountain with friends.  Why? So we can have what I’ve termed a “social ski day.”  What, you might ask, does that mean? 

Warning: Social ski days may lead to photo ops like this.

A social ski day has to involve at least a handful of runs, but it is 100% okay if the majority of the day is spent “warming up” at the bar in Spruce Saddle ($2.50 beers at an on-mountain restaurant = unheard of) or soaking in the sun while listening to live music on the patio at Garf’s or the Ritz.  I’ve spent some truly enjoyable social ski days catching up with friends and relaxing. 

2. My Need for Speed

There are few things I love more than the feeling of going fast.  I love cycling more than running.  I love Colorado highways with 75 mph speed limits more than slow Virginia highways.  And I LOVE doing mach-10 down a freshly groomed run with just enough pitch to really fly.

I know admitting the fact that I love cruising groomers might destroy any street cred you might have thought I had, but I don’t care.  (It was bound to happen sooner than later.)  Sometimes, corduroy feels as good as powder, and since my home mountain of Beaver Creek is known for impeccable grooming, I’m definitely in the right place.

1. Perfect Powder Days

Of course, I’d still pick a powder day any time.  There’s the weightless feeling of floating down the mountain.  There’s the silence underneath my skis coupled with the whoops of other skiers who are just having too much fun to hold it in.  There are the soft landings when I inevitably get over excited and let my skis get away from me. 

The memory of those perfect powder days helps keep me from whining about the cold and the snow all winter long.  I don’t think I’ll ever forget the day at Beaver Creek four years ago when the snow was coming down so fast that we kept lapping the same run, and each time we got to the top our tracks from the previous run were completely erased.  I know I’ll never forget the day Vail got about two feet of snow overnight and I skied the entire glorious day in my roommate’s too-big ski boots because I didn’t realize until we got to the parking lot that I’d grabbed the wrong boots and couldn’t bear the thought of missing first tracks to go home and get my own.

Those perfect ski days, whether they consist of two feet of powder or a sunny deck and a margarita, are the reason we live here.  They’re what we love.  And I can’t wait to begin another season full of them.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 4, 2014 3:43 pm

    Great article. Nicely written!

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  1. Beaver Creek Women’s Social Tour « Peaks and Passports

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