For as much as I love the snow, mountains, cold and adventure, I have never truly been able to learn how to ski until this winter. Growing up East side I was never presented the opportunity nor had the “push” to try out winter sports. Thanks to the experience living in Winter Park, Colorado we have found a new love for the outdoors and snow that we otherwise never knew.
This year, Winter Park Resort was named the number 1 Resort in all of North America. What better place to begin learning than the top rated ski area?! Tyema and I were able to get free ski lessons at the beginning of the season and since that day, my mind has been set on getting out on the mountain whenever the chance presented itself. I went to the Fraser Thrift store and got my Head Skis, Solomon Boots, helmet, goggles and ski poles all for under $75.00! I quickly went from the Discovery Parkway (beginner hill at Winter Park Resort) to all the Green Runs, Blues, a few Blacks and the Terrain Park within a few months. My particular favorite has been Glading (alpine tree skiing) as seen above in the first video. I haven’t hit Eagle Wind yet at Winter Park Resort, but hopefully I will get up there the next chance I get!
…Here’s a video of my weak attempt at hitting Ash Cat Terrain Park at WP…
Feeling a little confident I also took many more runs this week than I have before. I ran a few blues on Mary Jane Territory and rode the lift up to the Parsenn Bowl, elevation 12,060′! This is the highest lift that I can get up to at the Winter Park Resort. When I got off the lift and looked about I felt that I was on top of the world. The quiet, so still. From up here I could see the Cirque, the most rugged terrain in the park offering Double Black Diamond ski trails. Steep cliff drop offs and snow packed, rock walls. No way I will get up there this season or the next! I didn’t want to overdo it so took the easiest blue run back down to Lunch Rock.
It was such a beautiful day, 56º on top of the mountain! Up at Lunch Rock countless skiers were sitting out sunbathing in lawn chairs stuck in the snow, beers in hand and joints sparked up. The sun scorching down, pale pigments turning blisteringly red in the afternoon swelter. I skied until my thighs and calves felt like rubber. Until my face felt like beat up leather.
Today Tyema and I tried Cross Country Skiing for the first time. We rented our gear and went back to the Creekside Flume Campground to try out the creek trail. This trail offered more up close views of the surrounding mountains and was much more secluded. We ran across only a few people while skiing which made the afternoon more relaxing; we felt like we had the woods and mountains to ourselves.
Of course just like anything for the first time, we were both bound to stumble around and fall numerous times. I am absolutely more confident down hill skiing than cross country skiing (for now). For every fall however, our good spirits kept us getting up and trying again.
We packed ourselves a little picnic to enjoy in the afternoon, but quickly found that the snow was still way too deep to throw a blanket down and sit in it… At many points our ski poles stuck in the snow at least waist deep! We found our solace on a fallen lodgepole pine tree. A glass of wine, some fried chicken, grapes and blueberries..
When we started again we found it much easier and rewarding to carve our own paths in the snow instead of sticking to the trail. We made countless loops in and out of the tree line, soaking up and enjoying the beauty of the day.
Get out there and surrender yourself to the snow, the mountains, the wild beauty of our world! Embrace new challenges and try things you never have done before!
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