Our director of Web Content, recently took a Friday off to go play in the fresh snow. This is her first full season on skis, and she’s been learning from the best of us. Checkout her story as she experiences her first true powder day while skiing in Northern Michigan.
Two months ago, you would not have seen me jump for joy when I heard Harbor Springs, MI was getting 20inches of snow on March 24th. While I love the outdoors and the snow, I’m usually ready for paddleboard season by now.
February 2014 is when I stepped into my first pair of downhill skis. I fell a lot, but got right back up. I was determined. I rode the magic carpet with the little ones, but didn’t let those little rippers scare me. After all, they are much closer to the ground than a grown adult.
Unfortunately that season ended with a sprained MCL, but this year, I got back out there, and much earlier in the year at that. However, due to my sprained knee, I was still skiing with fear, lots of fear. After one bad fall, “I can’t” became a staple in my vocabulary. I would find any excuse to cut my day short. My friends caught on and would bribe me – a typical bribe went like this “take one more run down snopro and you can go home”, so I would do one more run and then I was outta there (the dogs were at the house so I had an easy excuse to get home and exercise them).
Everyone kept telling me I needed to get out of my own head, but it was not that easy. One Saturday in early March it clicked. I was linking turns, skiing blues, and my “I can’t’s”, turned into “that was easy, let’s do it again”.
Fortunately, one Sunday after returning from what I thought was my last ski trip of the season due to melting snow, rain and warmer temps, I got word of a storm set to drop 20 inches on Harbor Springs. Out went the texts and weather checks became more frequent over the next 4 days. It was true, a huge storm was coming and the forecast looked amazing. Off we went Thursday afternoon, car packed, dogs in tow, headed north. The drive consisted of pouring rain, strong winds, freezing rain, heavy wet slushy snow and then a complete white out. I white knuckeled it most of the way driving 35-40 mph, arriving at my destination 5.5hrs later for a trip that usually takes max 4hrs. But, that’s what skiers do for conditions like this and I’m a skier now… And I love it!
We woke up to 20inches, 25 degrees and bluebird skies. We were not quite first chair, but pretty darn close. I’d never been at the top looking down on freshly groomed terrain. It was awesome.
And so it began. My last ski weekend of the year. The conditions were outstanding. Better than some days my friends have had out west they admitted. And because of that, 7 other friends and their families all trekked Up North too. I had a perma-grin on my face. No one even wanted to stop for lunch!
We practically had the entire mountain to ourselves on Friday. No lines and just handfuls of people on each run. It was quiet, the air was crisp, and you could hear ever so clearly the sound of the skis against the fresh snow. Not to mention the awesome view of Lake Michigan from the top of Pintail Peak.
Sitting on the chairlifts riding thru the trees with the sun beaming down – it’s a feeling I never wanted to end. I get why people live out west and ski 200+ days a year. I really do. Ski weekends are the best. Ski all day. Drink, eat and laugh with your friends around a fire and a card game and then repeat. There is something special about everyone being on the same page. I am grateful for the ski weekends I’ve had this year and for the lack of injuries! I’ve got the bug. Next season can’t come quick enough.