The family suited up before dawn to head out to Silver Mountain today for our first Inland Northwest ski experience. My gear was packed, I was ready, yet I was still on the fence whether to ski or not, unsure of my abilities and lack of desire to roll end over end down the mountain.
Silver Mountain is an hour away, straight east on the freeway. No mountain roads other than 4th of July Pass on the freeway. Once you arrive in Kellogg Idaho, a 25 minute gondola ride takes you to the lodge and lifts.
We were cruising along, everything going according to plan, until our middle son got car sick. Thankfully he gave enough notice so we could pull over and he could barf in the snow on the side of the road. He has never gotten car sick until we moved here. Now he has developed the habit of looking out the side window the entire length of the drive and gets sick every time. Every. single. time.
When we arrived, it was decided I would sit with our carsick kid until he recovered and felt well enough to ski. He had no issues in the gondola ride, though I thought our oldest son was going to join the barf brigade with the rocking motion of the gondola. When the guys were suiting up, our youngest decided his brand new crash helmet didn’t fit him, even though it totally fit him perfect two days prior when we mounted his GoPro cam to the top of his helmet. He was in a rage today over not having a helmet. I thought I’d solve this issue quick by renting a helmet and sending him on his way. No such luck. He had himself worked into a tizzy and spent an hour in the lodge with me staring outside (because he didn’t know I had the ipad hidden in my bag) burning his brain with boredom.
Watching his younger brother melt down was motivation for our middle son to have a miraculous recovery and hit the slopes without any rest. My husband and the two older boys went out with words of caution (but have fun) from me, the Mountain Sherpa, as I patiently waited out our youngest son’s dilemma. After an hour, he ended up wearing the rental helmet and headed out with his dad and brothers.
My Mountain Sherpa duties included going back and forth to the locker, managing gear, buying hot chocolates, managing kids, ordering food, drinking a Bloody Mary, taking photographs, losing my wallet, finding my wallet (it was in my bag the entire time, silly me [insert husband exasperation and wife triumph here]), writing three blog posts (though I’m too tired to post them all now), getting rentals (the helmet and our oldest son forgot his poles – duh!), returning rentals, paying for tubing time, hiking up and down the bunny hill to videotape our youngest snowboard shredder, and climbing 3 levels of stairs more times than I could count to make this all happen and conversing with anyone wanting to talk. It’s not easy being a Mountain Sherpa. The good news is that I didn’t fall down once.
My intuition was correct, the mountain was WAY beyond my skill level. The ski areas are really narrow, I need room for big, wide turns, and really steep. Yikes! I don’t handle steep well. The boys totally had fun and had no issues, but prefer wider space. I think more time spent on this mountain would build a comfort level, but not for me.
Once we conquered car sickness and obnoxious melt down, we put in a full day on the mountain. We were on the slopes by 9 AM and back on the freeway by 4:30 PM. We had fun and we are exhausted. Photos will have to post later.