The hope and promise of a new ski season
This post originally appeared on Clark's family travel and lifestyle design blog FamilyTrek.org. It has been updated for us to share with our readers here at Tahoe South. To view the original post you can click here.
It's March 2012 and a friend is watching our kids so my wife and I can ski together. Because our friend is awesome, she's watching them the whole day.
Snowfalls had been below average that winter but recent storms had people whispering "Miracle March." Today would be a good day.
We're midway through our day and we decide to move to a new part of the mountain. We pick our run and it's just drudgery. It's moguled out and we're moving slow down the mountain. About 50 yards down we take a break and survey what's ahead of us. Moments later I see another skier hit the run going pretty fast. I joke to my wife that he'll pass us in about 15 seconds.
When he gets to us I take off. Suddenly, I find myself skiing as fast and aggressively as I've ever skied before. We're competing. We each know it and we're each pushing one another beyond our previous limits. He passes me. I pass him. Completely winded, I take a break and he passes me again. Now he's taking a break and I pass him. Coming to the end we are neck and neck. I go all out -- beyond sanity -- and bring home my own personal gold medal.
Back on the groomers he skis by me and says, "Thanks, man, that was fun."
That memory is burned into my mind as one of my favorite memories from the 11-12 ski season.
A new ski season brings with it the hope and promise of more memories on the slopes. And that new ski season is quickly approaching -- November 22 at Heavenly Mountain. Kirkwood Resort and Sierra-at-Tahoe, hopefully, won't be far behind.
With the mountain covered in white I will again take up the role I so proudly bear: ski bum.
It's not just the powder. Not just the feeling of zipping through the trees. Not just the exhilaration of blazing down the mountain. It's the whole package. Drinking a beer at the lodge. Chatting with the guy next to me on the chairlift. Recounting stories at the end of the day. Checking my EpicMix account that night to track the number of vertical feet I skied that day.
Even as I write this I can feel my body on the slopes. Muscle memory is setting in.
Being a dad and a self-employed entrepreneur can make for a busy mind. What I love about skiing is that it is a total escape. Skiing requires enough mental focus to block out everything else. You can't think about work. You can't think about what happened with your kids this morning. All you can think about is your next turn.
It's a thrill so exhilarating that my family packed up the life we'd built for ourselves in Southern California to make Lake Tahoe our home. The summers in Lake Tahoe are gorgeous. But it's the skiing that keeps me here.