Until January 2021 I hadn’t been skiing since high school! Just to put it into perspective we are talking approximately 15 years ago. The last time I went, in high school, it was with my best friend’s family. Her parents were super strict and my mom even had to sign a waiver just in case I broke anything or died they wouldn’t be held liable. My mom always had us in ski lessons so I was a pretty confident skier and when I mean confident I mean sticking to the bunny slopes and green slopes. I had my french fry and pizza poses down pat just enough to get me by.
On this particular skiing trip with my friends family, I remember her dad wanted to take us up the mountain and show us the ropes. He knew I wasn’t an advanced skier and we told him to keep us to the green trails. Well, one wrong turn later and before we knew it, he lead us to a double black diamond on the top of Okemo Mountain in Vermont. I froze dead in my tracks as I pierced down the completely vertical iced over slope. He looked back at us laughed as he said, “You’ll be fine, I’ll see you at the bottom” and he took off leaving us to fend for ourselves. I attempted to ease my way down but only got a fourth of the way down before I slid over a huge patch of ice and hit the ground as my skies went flying in the air. At this point my friend and I decided to stay unclipped from the skis and talk our way down to a slope that was more our speed. This was my last time skiing.
Fast forward to 15 years later and almost a year of being stuck inside quarantining from the COVID-19 pandemic. With winter upon us and a travel ban my husband and I decided we needed to get away locally and do something before we lost our minds in this lockdown world we were currently living in. We decided on Lake George in New York as our destination spot. We have been a few times during the summer but never have gone in the winter. In January they host an ice carving festival, along with winter sports fun like ice fishing, skiing, snowmobiling and more it’s an ideal winter vacation location.
So what do you do when its winter in New England and you can’t hop on a plane and go somewhere tropical? You ski! Last minute we decided it would be fun to try skiing together on this trip. It’s a work out and a great way to enjoy nature and be outdoors. No comparison to a sunny warm beach but we had to work with what we had.
Since he had only been skiing once in his life and I was a bit rusty after a 15 year hiatus. We quickly realized we were ill equipped and we made a mad dash to a bunch of sporting goods stores to get the appropriate gear so we were prepared for the mountain. Unfortunately for us we had barely found the right gear as everything was just about sold out. We gathered what we could piece together in our sizes at different retailers and hit the road.
During the pandemic you have to make reservations for everything. This includes skiing. We aren’t much of planners we are the type of people who like to go with the flow and see were the trip takes us. Well in this instance that did not work in our favor. We drove an hour to Gore Mountain just to be turned down at the ticket booth because it was a weekend and they were already at their determined Covid safe capacity. After 5 stores for skiing gear I was determined we were going to hit a mountain on this trip! Turns out everything was sold out of that weekend in New York so we decided to hit up Mohawk Mountain in Connecticut on our way home that Monday. It ended up being a beautiful sunny day and not too cold. It was perfect!
We loved it so much we decided to join my brother and his fiance yesterday in Vermont for another ski adventure on Mount Snow. I was pretty confident after my amazing run, without one fall, on Mohawk Mountain that I was gonna be great on this trip as well. Little did I realize that Mount Snow is one of the bigger mountains here on the East Coast. Summit Elevation is 3,600 ft and the Vertical Drop is 1,700 ft with 86 trails. I had no idea what I was getting myself into!
On our first run on Mount Snow we took the lift half way up and my brother thought he was funny and lead us down a blue trail. I wiped out twice by the time we reached the bottom. At that point I was instantly dreading doing anymore runs. We decided to take a lunch break to let the rain that had frozen into ice overnight melt before trying again. Our hopes that the beaming sun and other skiers would help breakdown and melt the ice that had covered the trails.
Our 2nd run was much better but still scary. We hit a trail called Long John which was an “easy” green trail. I paced myself down the mountain pulling off to the side every so often to catch my breath and rest my legs for a second. It is definitely a work out. By our 3rd run I felt much better and I was getting the hang of it. We did about 6 runs all together before we decided to call it a day. Once you start getting tired it’s really hard to keep skiing. To avoid getting hurt you have to listen to your body and know when its time to call it quits. Pushing yourself to go one more run is never a good idea as this is the point when most people suffer injuries.
All in all we had a blast. We are definitely sore and achy today but it was so much fun. Being prepared with the right gear is so important and will determine whether you have a great or miserable experience. So here are my tips on what to have if you’re heading out to the slopes:
Things to Rent (rent at the slopes or at a near by establishment)
-Waterproof/resistant jacket & pants/bib overalls
-Thermal long johns under pants and jacket
-Wool knee socks
-Waterproof/resistant gloves (I prefer mittens)
-Ski Mask (I like the ones that cover nose, mouth, ears & head)
-Tissues (for a runny nose)
-Small water bottle or hydropack (in case you need a drink while on the slopes)
Post Ski Necessities
-Icy Hot Patches/Cream