Yesterday, my husband put our 3-year-old, who is simply crushing it on skis, on a snowboard. He told me it was the beginning of the end. We have a bit of an ongoing battle in our house about skis vs. snowboards as I ski and he boards, and we both want to win the kiddo over to our side in the long run. Truly, neither of us cares that much as long as he loves being on the mountain, but I fear the coolness of snowboarding —and the coolness of my husband, decidedly way more cool than mom — will win out.
It’s the beginning of the end today for me, as well. My last blog of the season. The first day of the last week of the season. Transition. And that sun feels real, real good. I walked my dog in a baseball hat instead of a snow hat at 7:15; that’s how warm it was even first thing this morning, and it’s just supposed to get nicer as the day goes on.
The snow is softening up perfectly under that intense, springtime Rocky Mountain sun, and the groomers are getting nice and carvy. For the morning, the skiing was best where the slopes faced directly into the sun. For the afternoon, the shade will be your friend. When it is this warm, the sun bakes the snow sticky pretty quickly. Word to the wise: Wait until the sun has been on the slushy bumps and trees for another few hours today. Yesterday was likewise uber spring and much of that ungroomed snow is still quite firm. It’ll make you work for it, to say the least. But once they’ve softened up, slushy bumps are some of my most favorite conditions.
This week, the weather is supposed to be all over the place: super warm and sunny, to rain and snow with stout winds, back to sunny, back to warm snow potential. Spring. Don’t worry about the conditions this week. Go ski. I say it all the time. Go enjoy those views that you won’t get to take in for a while. Relish this crazy sport we all love so much. Pack layers in a backpack to keep you riding all day. Drink bloodies on the deck at Four Points (or inside by the fire if there’s a howling snain storm raging outside). Ride every lift just to see if you can. Get out your end-of-season costumes, tutus, wigs, old-school onesies, capes and rock ’em. Ski with those folks that you meant to meet up with all winter but just didn’t manage to pull it off. Take in the free concerts at the base area, or cheer on the competitors in the Cardboard Classic. Get a babysitter and spend the day on the hill with your most favorite person even if the forecast is for … variable conditions.
Because next week it is officially mud season, these bull wheels won’t be turning, and we’re gonna miss this beautiful mountain. It’s the beginning of the end, so make it count! Hope to see you out there.
Ali Givnish, Alpine skier