Mountain Mamas

I mean no disrespect to my colleague, JF Lanvers, who has posted here about The Measure of Skiing. But my Utah ski days are measured not in vertical feet, but in adjectives. And the word of the day, friends, is EPIC.

All it took was a buncha inches (that’s a technical term) of fresh Utah Powder  falling Monday night to begin the flurry of Facebook posts, the frantic plans to meet up at the mountain—moms leveraging their kids’ school schedules for all they’re worth.

I reached out to a gang of gals, and wasn’t entirely sure who’d wind up in my Powder Posse.

With sunrise came that gorgeous, glistening blanket of white that had me scurrying to get my gear loaded along with Little Guy for the carpool to preschool. We collected his buddy and began the “epic” part of the day that relates more to my studies of Odysseus. Seriously, everyone who thinks they can drive willy, nilly on slick, just-stormed-upon streets, please…don’t. It took 45 minutes to make it to the preschool from my house (a 15 min drive in normal circumstances) due to untold numbers of spinouts and wrecks. We navigated our way safely, and, once the kids were in the classroom, I texted madly to my pals to hang in and wait for me….Thank goodness they did.

Let me add that the three women who wound up in my posse today (and my apologies to Lisa and Donna….I tried, but every time you sent a text I was deeper in powder than a person should have a right to be! More on that in a minute) are all three women whose company I have enjoyed for years—but never once on the slopes. So I had no idea what level of skiers I was rallying with.

I do know that when Olivia and I met up with Jill and Sarah on this frigid but bluebird morning, Sarah and Jill met us with the following sentence…something that could only be interpreted as a challenge:

“We just did a groomer and it was really boring. Take us someplace cool.” 

May I just say, my ego bloomed under the umbrella of their trusting that I could deliver? Holy. Moly.

 Here we are, all pumped up to take on the World of Pow.


And so, deliver, I did. That’s right, dear readers, my warm-up run this morning was through the trees between Hidden Treasure and Square Deal (thanks Leticia) into the powder and bumps. 


Olivia was off in a flash—we didn’t see her again until we finished the run. She’d waited patiently for us at the bottom of Red Cloud.

Jill and Sarah and I whooped, hollered and pounded our way down the hill.

Next up—a quick blast over to Empire. Olivia recruited Sarah to cut into Lady Morgan with her, while Jill elected to check out Anchor Trees, my new favorite stash. It did not disappoint, as evidenced by my grin in this pic, snapped at the end of the tree run.

The clock was ticking as we met up with the other two at the base of Empire. “I have about 45 minutes,” said Olivia, noting her school pickup schedule. “Let’s go into Ontario Bowl!”

 This is the moment where I would ordinarily cue the Chords of Doom…you know Duh Duh Duh Duh….in the lowest octaves of a piano. But Olivia, clearly the most skilled and aggressive in our midst, was beyond encouraging. So we said, Great!

Funniest moment of the day? Sarah, noting the trail signs as we headed toward the Bowl—“Oh, look, Ontario’s a green.” Yeah, sweets, not so much.

We took the easy entrance, just above Hidden Treasure, and traversed through the most peaceful glades I’ve ever experienced. The bowl opened up and it was open season on our knees. But we gamely made our way down under Olivia’s casually elegant guidance (oh, just make your turns in the open spaces, and go really slow as you get to the runout on the bottom).


Little did I know that Jill was snapping shot after shot of me working my way through the powder in my ill-matched skis (yep, the racing skis. Note to self: must buy powder skis, STAT).

 We were positively ebullient with the bragging rights of a double black under our belts. Olivia snapped a pic of the three of us, then scurried off with a promise to meet up again for more runs VERY soon, and we three headed for some groomers to cool down. We zoomed down Nabob, shrieking and hollering (not that different from the other runs, now that I think of it—at least from a sound-effects standpoint). And I yelled, very loudly (yes, I know, that’s SHOCKING) “Moms on the MOOOOOOVE!” And a rallying cry was born.


So, who’s in? I’ll be gathering some girls for skiing on Sunday—come find us. I’ll be the one in the leopard jacket. It definitely packs a punch of confidence.

5 Responses

  1. Ben says:

    If only I could be a Park City mom! I am glad to see someone (my wife Olivia) is enjoying all the Utah Powder.

  2. Bari Nan says:

    Hi Ben!
    Lucky me to be in her company!

  3. JF Lanvers says:

    No offense! Your measurement is qualitative, mine is quantitative. We probably need both…

  4. Jackie Herr says:

    The Deer Valley Ski clinic-ROCKS! Last week was probably the best week of skiing I have ever had. We were doing steep and deep, something I never would have done before spending that great weekend with Letitia and two new great friends. Glad to see you so excited about your game too!

  5. […] of runs I can take with Ski Dad—they are rare gems. A girlfriends’ gabfest , equal parts cruisers and trees  . Or an entire day on Wide West , with both kids, including frequent breaks for candy (from the […]

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