Slope Stories

Chrissie about to go down Whitetail on snowboard

2021 was, well 2021. Rough year. I’ll write more about that another time. Bottom line is that it left me pretty exhausted so Chris and I made conscious choices to slow down for at least a few months.

The energy is starting to come back thanks to a concentration on a healthy diet, sleep and exercise. And also because I am not making a lot of plans or taking on new tasks for a bit. The focus on life now is finding rhythm, routine, and of course, hitting the hills.

Here in New England, we’ve been getting more rain than snow. Our ski resort has been fighting valiantly to keep us on the slopes. It’s greatly appreciated.

They made snow on a bunch of trails, and some were so narrow it was like skiing down a street. One day I took a long trail and was kinda used to looking at the snow.

I took a wide turn, totally relaxed and zenned out, and had to put on the brakes fast. I was three inches from dirt, grass and leaves! The slopes were so nicely done I had forgotten there was no snow elsewhere.

Can you believe this glorious sunset was January 5?

It’s pretty impossible to see, but that image on the right actually has two deer in it. Big ones with nice winter coats. We never would have seen them if they hadn’t moved occasionally.

Ice in the corner of the window -- on the inside.

The warmth slipped away and we had a few nights of very cold weather. One night hit -8 F (-22 C). And that was before the wind chill. Our windows didn’t hold up great. There was ice on the inside when we woke up. Thank goodness for a cozy duvet!

When it’s under 25F, they close the outdoor pool and hot tub. I found out why. Chris and I were in there having a lovely conversation with some hotel guests. It was about 28 when we hit the hot tub and 22 when we left. The deck had gotten so icy in that time frame, we were clutching railings for dear life. The cold trumped the rock salt set down to melt ice apparently.

Chris in the indoor hot tub.

The good news is that there is also an indoor hot tub. Not as nice since you can’t see the skiers and boarders or the stars or falling snow, but still a nice option.

We eventually got a couple of inches of snow, which at least made the world look glisten-y again. I really do love waking up and watching the sun rise over the slopes as Chris and I yak over our morning coffee.

Sunrise over the slopes.

Tuesday was one of the super cold days. It was also a work day, so I nibbled on the last of my birthday chocolates (I like to savor them) and cozied up in front of the hotel fireplace with my computer for work. Those chocolates were super special. My friend knew about my blog post about the chocolates and brought me some for my fiftieth b-day in mid-December.

Fortunately that brutal cold didn’t last too long, and I was soon back on the slopes. Last year I learned how to do s-turns better. This year I’ve been doing them on Intermediate slopes and getting more comfortable with that. On Thursday this past week, I actually s-turned down two black diamonds! (Those are difficult slopes).

I went all the way down Riptide (my favorite run) doing the turns. Then we hit Upper Fox (where I s-turned down half of it). It’s a bit harder than Riptide. Next we moved to North Glade, and I didn’t have any trouble with the s-turns there. I focused on making the turns smaller. Here is Chris going down North.

Chris snowboarding down North Glade.

Finally, I felt I was ready to try Whitetail. Chris blasts down it all the time, but it’s too steep for me. I’ve done it twice in the past — both in spring conditions with thick, heavy, slow snow.

Thursday, the 12th of January, did not have spring conditions. It was about an inch of softer snow over ice, which covered the base. And I made it!!! The first time I went down, I just did a falling leaf (my normal, wimp-out, stay-on-my-heels-facing-down move). Then I tried again and actually s-turned down it.

Chrissie about to snowboard down Whitetail.

If you want to see the runs we took, here are some recordings I found on YouTube (other people, not me). The trails never look as steep on video, but believe me, they are steep!

Upper Fox
North Glade

I find the slopes to always be humbling. While I can make it down the black diamonds without falling, I frequently fall getting off the lift.

Thursday there was enough ice under the base (thank you, recent rain) that I couldn’t get off the slope to the walking path after unstrapping. I didn’t want to break my tailbone or wrist walking back to the hotel so I just sat on my duff and took a slide. haha

Butt slide on ice to get down to the walking path.

A funny effect we get after hours of snowboarding is foot cramps. We were commenting about this to our friend/relative, Kevin. He suggested pickle juice. And it actually works!

Chris and I are celebrating Dry January (no alcohol for a month) so here are our shots of pickle juice. Wild things that we are 😉

All we needed was a bit of snow, and last night it came. Fresh powder to make our world glimmer. Here’s a picture I took earlier today:

A half foot of fresh snow. Our first storm of the year.

Now if you will excuse me, I want to publish this then go to gear up. The slopes are calling….

19 responses to “Slope Stories”

  1. It looks beautiful but that pickle juice…ugh! I have tried skiing but wasn’t particularly successful. I admire the skill, good for you!!

    • I am not fantastic at skiing either. In fact my kids told me to stick with snowboarding since skiing might break me. haha. I’m very uncoordinated.

    • You are too funny. I’m very controlled out there. Slow and steady… I’ve only broken 30 mph once or twice, and that’s not very fast on the slopes.

  2. I LOVE that photo of you. I believe you about the steepness of the slopes. It looks to me like the world drops away just beyond your open hand.

  3. “Thursday, the 12th of January, did not have spring conditions. It was about an inch of softer snow over ice, which covered the base. And I made it”

    Yay!!!! :Conga-parrot:

    I’m so glad you are taking the time to take care of yourself after 2021. You deserve it, my friend 😘

  4. Our crew got back from Elk Mt., PA late last night. They hit the trail in the AM prior to the 5 hr ride back to the Eastern Shore. Be safe my friend.

  5. I think you’re both amazing! All the outdoor exercise, just fantastic! Not like us – we tend to cocoon in our apartment as we are not skiiers etc., and dislike the cold. And *boy* it’s really freezing up here! Yesterday we walked to the nail salon and back for our bi-monthly pedicures. Brrrr!

  6. My tropical brain looks at that snow and goes, “IMMA RUN AND WHOMP ON THAT SNOW FACE FIRST.”

    (Yes. I never seen snow IRL.)

    It looks so fun! I’m so glad you are having a most-deserved awesome adventure, Chrissie!

    • Haha. Thanks, Retno. Your “whomp on that snow face first” cracks me up. If you ever wanna see snow, you are very welcome to come stay with us. It’s beautiful magic!

  7. Snowing in my area (just below the Pocono Mountains) hasn’t been great although it’s been cold enough to make snow. Sometimes I wonder how the ski resorts make it with the wonky weather!

    • This year has been really tough for the slopes. Wouldn’t surprise me if the season ended 4-6 weeks early 🙁

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