Ski Like a Local

On my first (and only) ski vacation to Utah, we came with a large group of friends. It was pre-kids, and definitely a Go-Big-or-Go-Home kind of week. If the slopes were lacking the fresh stuff that March week, we barely noticed. So dazzled were we by the terrain, the fluffy nature of Utah snow, and the delights of Deer Valley in particular that we skied our hearts out.

Prior to arriving, we debated what type of multi-day ticket to purchase. We worried the 5 days of skiing would not be enough. Upon arrival, we commenced skiing from first chair to last chair for four days in a row.

My husband and I took breaks only to find a custom-boot-fitter who saved our aching feet and allowed us to ski longer.

On the evening of day four, our large crew of eleven adults traipsed back into the condo from a yummy dinner on Main Street, and made noises about what time we’d leave for the mountain the following morning.  We conceded that an hour or so of delay in our routine might not be too bad. Not one of us admitted to the total-body-exhaustion we felt. Instead, we hoped to sleep it off.

As we stumbled into the kitchen the following morning, the mood was a little subdued. Eggs fried. Bread toasted. And people tried to rally. Someone floated a test balloon. “Hey, did you guys know there’s an outlet mall?” This query came from one of the women, but the entire room erupted in a chorus of “We should go!”

The room breathed a collective sigh of relief, and our energy returned.

I’ll say this: Retail therapy goes a long way toward prepping tired muscles to rally for the last day on the slopes.

Now, as a local, a first-to-last-chair day seems like an exotic thing. One of my friends, determined to ski 100 days in a row this season, says all he needs is that first run. If he’s not feeling it after that, he checks off the day and heads home. Others swear by Crack-of-Noon syndrome. I’m a fan of a day on the mountain—punctuated by leisurely meals. Once or twice a season, I grab a full day on the slopes. But more often than not, I enjoy a half day of runs, some lunch, and head home. Peppering one or more of these more mellow ski days into your family’s vacation is a great idea. It allows your kids to “miss” skiing (see my previous posts about leaving them wanting more), and allows your family to discover your favorite other pastimes in town.