Getting a family of five and sometimes six ready for ski season is no easy endeavor. Growing kids only add to the chaos.
We moved to Spokane for many reasons, one definite reason was the winter activities, namely skiing, that Spokane and surrounding areas offer.
In years past, we made an annual trek to Tahoe-Donner near Lake Tahoe for a week-long family ski adventure. We opted not to ski at local mountains due to crowds and crappy conditions. A few hours away, Mammoth Mountain was too expensive and out of our skill level. Correction, out of my skill level and I’ll include the kids to make me feel better. We chose to drive 9 hours to Tahoe Donner to ski for its family friendly approach, no crowds, great deals and easy terrain, perfect for us beginners. Though it was perfect in so many ways, we still had a sizeable cash outlay for a one week “ski season.”
Spokane offers five ski resorts within two hours of our front door, Mt. Spokane; 49 degrees north; Schweitzer, Silver Mountain and Lookout Pass. Our ski season has instantly expanded from one week to the entire winter season.
We intentionally have not hit the slopes yet, due to school and work schedules, holiday demands and low snowfall. It has been reported that Spokane is fifteen inches below normal snowfall. For our first winter, we are thrilled. There is plenty of snow and ice on the ground and cold temperatures for our first Spokane winter.
With the kids on Winter Break and my husband and I taking vacation days this week, the time to start skiing is now.
Because our ski season has only been one week long in years past and the kids are growing, we have always rented gear for the kids, my husband and I have had skis and boots for years. This year, with guaranteed use, everyone gets gear. My husband is DONE renting gear and dealing with that hassle. He has been on a Craigslist used gear buying mission over the past couple of weeks and scored some incredible deals. With every purchase, the kids are psyched and ready. Thankfully, parkas and snow pants still fit from last year. Everyone received new crash helmets for Christmas as well, so now we’re set.
The kids are going to be in shock when we get to Silver Mountain.
This is Tahoe Donner:
Easy. You know this mountain and all of the runs quickly.
Here’s Silver Mountain:
Huge difference. You have to take a 25 minute gondola ride from the parking lot to the lifts. Silver Mountain is going to take some getting used too.
Here’s the thing. There always has to be a thing. The thing is that I’m scared. Me. I didn’t learn to ski until I was in my 30’s and speed has never been something I’ve desired. I liked our old slow and easy mountain. Really, it was a bunny hill, not a mountain. I have huge ski anxiety right now. Without saying anything, my husband and boys know I’m afraid. They’ve seen me ski. They lap me down the mountain and are back on the lift before I make it down the hill. I ski s.l.o.w. My kids ask why I even bother to ski. I can’t answer this question. I do love being outside, I do love seeing my family having a blast and ripping it up. I just don’t share their love for speed and lack their athleticism and agility. Plus, I have further to fall and I don’t like falling.
I mentioned I might take a lesson to get my bearings. My husband told me (after having paid for years of lessons), “you don’t need a lesson, you know how to ski, you just have to do it.” Eek. I want someone to hold my hand and make sure I do what I’m supposed to do. My husband has two boys skiing and one snow boarding to contend with, he has no time to coddle me. Plus, my husband has skied for 40 years, skis forward, backward, does tricks and loves bombing the hill. So I’m skiing solo. Wah! I understand the real issue, I’m a control freak. I like controlling my environment. Putting me on a sharp edged, waxed slick pair of skis on a down hill slope is not a controlled environment. I mentioned to my husband that I think cross-country skiing would be better suited for me, and he agreed. No cross country skiing at Silver. Sigh.
So far I’ve only committed to skiing in the afternoon, taking the morning to act as the Sherpa at Base Camp to make sure everyone is lined out, having fun and uninjured after their morning ski. After lunch, maybe I’ll join them. Maybe I’ll take a lesson. Maybe I’ll just maintain base camp and bring a book. Sitting outside in the sun all day with a book has always been my speed. Then again, maybe I’ll ski…wish me luck.