Winter is here. Our shopping and gift-wrapping/opening is over, and finally the snow is here. That means that most likely, many of you will have your first day of skiing or snowboarding this week or in the near future. Only of course if you haven’t already braved the icy and variable slopes of the northeast, on almost 20” of snow this season. If everything goes as the meteorologists predict, when you read this, you will be looking out your window at a winter wonderland, something every John and Jane Skier has been waiting for since the close of last season.
I was very anxious for my first day out for the season, which I took the opportunity to partake in just last Saturday. I went to Waterville Valley, a mountain that I have only skied a handful of times, since I had worked the previous 4 years at Loon. The mountain was not yet half open, but for me the anticipation to get on my freshly tuned skis was overwhelming, so I went! For the first day of Winter Vacation, the mountain was desolate, leaving me taking laps up and down their 3 open chairs with no lines at all.
The day was perfect! However, it felt like my first day of the season. My first few turns were sloppy as my joints found hinges that haven’t opened and closed in 7 months, and my as my edges found their mark, biting into the bumpy corduroy of the groomed trails. It took a few trips up, then back down again before my ski legs were under me again, and by that time, ice was exposed on the snow’s surface, and gravel sized snow chunks were scattered across the trails. That didn’t matter though, I was cruising at top speeds again, turning fast and tight, with rooster tails kicking up from the back of my twin tip Dynastars. It’s a great feeling.
When my day was done, my body felt like I had pressed my legs hard on every downhill turn, and never got any rest while making my way back up the chairlift. As you have read from my previous posts, I am not out of shape, due to my other extra-curricular activities in other seasons, but I haven’t skied since March and it takes a day to get it all back. If you are going out for your first day, (or any day for that matter) make sure to get a good stretch in. On that first day, there is no need to ski as hard as you will on your 4th day out and then for the rest of the season. It is best to ease back into it, for your health. This is only good advice. Advice that I am not soon to follow, as I like to ski hard (and am stubborn at 25), and even take a couple runs through the park, over jumps I have no business going over on my first day. But I was fortunate to stay within my limits and was able to walk away from the hill for another day this season. I can’t wait until after this weather dumps a much needed and well deserved snowfall for all of us to shovel our cars out of and gear up for the slopes. This weekend you will find me near North Conway, possibly skiing the first mountain I ever skied (Cranmore) or getting some night skiing in at King Pine, just for fun! Happy trails everyone!