Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Ski Ya Later, Winter

There’s a lot of lamenting going around about how terrible this ski season was. True, it wasn’t the powder-filled bonanza that we relished last year.

We started the season off in November, and while the snow was lean, there was no reason not to hold out hope. The holidays came, relatives cancelled their ski getaway with us, and the slopes remained on the slim side, but ever the optimist, I believed the snow would come. January and February came and went and still, I think I can count the two times I skied in the woods, both times immediately regretting what the rocks and roots just barely covered with a dusting of snow were doing to my bases.

Yet in true Yankee style, we got out there. Snowmakers and groomers relentlessly performed their magic and made sweet corduroy day after day. We got out there every weekend, save for a fun pre-Christmas wedding we took part in. We skied on Range View, Bode’s Run, and eventually Waumbeck. We skied on ice, we skied on packed powder, we skied on groomers and more groomers. We skied in the sun and we skied in the fog. We skied in rain and enjoyed the edgeable snow as we watched it drain down the sides of the trails.

The kids were out there every weekend with the ski team, from pre-season dryland training to a fun dual-slalom season-ender, racing against parents and friends and coaches.

It’s not that we’re so dedicated or masochistic. It’s that its fun. No matter what the conditions, it was always more fun than not skiing. The kids looked forward each weekend to hitting the trails with their ski buddies, and for that matter, so did I. Sometimes we commiserated about how unjust the snowfall patterns were, but most of the time we remarked at how good the skiing was despite Mother Nature's cruel joke. More than once we raised a glass to the snowmakers and groomers who made this season possible.

Sure, my Facebook feed seemed to intentionally torment me with photo after photo of western powder shots. But we hearty New Englanders know one thing for sure: winter will come again.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Silly Season on the Slopes

We skiers and snowboarders may take our days on the slopes seriously, with hours devoted to studying the right gear, finding just the right flex for our skis and the perfectly fit jacket and pants, and we might spend way too much time researching the snowfall totals to find the perfect mountain getaway. We find ourselves in the car driving for hours to the resort and devote, sometimes unsuccessfully, numerous days praying to the snow gods for a powder day.

But in the end, we don't take ourselves that seriously. When the days are longer and the trails a bit narrower, despite our hopes otherwise, we know the end of the season is nigh. So what do we do? We build a pond, don the most outrageous costumes we can find, and hurl ourselves across the water on our boards in front of hundreds of onlookers who are not-so-secretly hoping we fall face-first into the icy waters.

True spring weather temps brought out even Outdoor Dad this year for the Bretton Woods Slush Pool competition. 

Outdoor Dad saved his grass skirt just for this special occasion. (Jess Lynch photo)

Cat wore her "Paws" t-shirt and unicorn bike helmet with hopes it would catapult her across the pond. (Jess Lynch photo)

Ryan was so confident, he made a call to his mom while making the pond skim look easy. (Jess Lynch photo)
Those who aren't brave (or old) enough to pond skim could still get in on the fun. The whole day was devoted to Beach Party fun, and everyone from lifties to the kids dug out their best hula skirts and leis.

The Easter Bunny joined us for a few runs on Saturday too.

We wait all year for a sunny day on the deck to enjoy some burger dogs, and perhaps a cold margarita.

If you didn't see the Easter Bunny, you might still have come across Pirate Skier. His double planks kept him sailing the snowy seas.

There's still one more weekend left to find your silly side on the the mountain, with the last day of the season April 3. In an effort to appease those snow gods with a nod towards the 2016-17 season, tickets will be just $16.17 on Sunday.