We didn’t quite know what to expect. The forecast called for rain and highs in the upper 50s for opening day of the local ski season. But the folks who showed up were the regular enthusiasts who don’t allow weather to spoil their fun especially on the opening day here in the Mid-Atlantic. All of us were clad in Gore Tex in anticipation of the foul weather but to our surprise, the sun came out and the atmosphere in the parking lot was electric. I looked at the lady next to me and asked, ” Excited?” She smiled and said,” look at all these grins in this parking lot.”
Most people were masked and compliant with the social distancing rules in the chairlift lines. Everyone was respectful but anxious to make those first turns including me. I was shortchanged my last trip out west in March when everything shut down. It was a little disappointing for me to end the ski season that way. But understood seeing the circumstances of Covid.
The Pandemic has added an additional bit of uncertainty to the opening of the new season, but outdoor exercise along with restrictions in food service and time in the lodges allow for safe skiing for all of us. Our local area- Seven Springs Mountain Resort, was well prepared with signs, restricted lodge time, take out food options, and other anomalies that were accepted by the skiers. Heck, we all wanted to ski so if we had to wear a mask, try to social distance, and eat and boot up outside, no big deal. This is the way it is all over the country this year and I am prepared when I try to ski west this year. For the moment, my Jeep is my lodge.
But back to our opening day. One of the things I try to do when I first start is to concentrate on making nice rounded turns with both feet spread out a little bit and on the ground throughout the turn. No lifting the inside ski as per my old school technique. I watched a lot of video this fall in anticipation of my first turns and noticed the World Cup racers stance and several You Tube videos on carving that gave me a mental image of where I wanted to be. The good thing is that the snow was good and our local area made a good effort to make snow, groom, and open what they could, despite the fickle weather conditions. Things are starting to look up this coming week with a snow storm that might be significant.
It is always good go make those first turns of the season. You build the confidence with each run and the effort to get to the parking lot early and on to the lifts, is well worth it. My smile was wider with each run and the excited conversations in the chairlift lines, although muffled by masks, made me thankful that the opportunity to ski had once again returned. This is my 59th season and I was as excited on opening day this year as I was as a kid all those many years ago. I couldn’t sleep well the night before thinking about it.
Yes – the terrain was limited but the conditions were great. I always say that you can’t be out west or in New England every week if you live here. So why not ski locally and then you are prepared when you do go. I have to tell you that if you like to ski like I do,, you will take every opportunity. The seasons are getting shorter so make the best of it. The folks at Seven Springs made it happen as they do every year for us. I am appreciative. Thanks for reading and think snow.
Pat, I got a place for the winter there this year. Missed you on Saturday but we should link up – would love to make some turns with you when I’m not skiing with my wife, 6 year old and 2 year old.
Take some time to ski with me for sure But those kids are top priority.
“Your car is your lodge”!
Great first day to get the cobwebs out of muscle memory.
Looking forward to firmer snow and breaking out the new boards!
Maybe this Friday?? 😁
Great writing as always.
Thanks to you my ski partner.
Hear, Hear! Thanks Patrick… I too look forward to the first day like I was a little kid!
.dont forget to turn both ways….. otherwise you just go in circles 🙂 ________________________________
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Thanks Paul- hope the trip to JH went well?
After maybe too many runs on Wagner, I have forgotten the origin of the slope’s name. ???
I don’t know that either Bill. If you find out, let me know. Regards and thanks for reading
Of course you were there! Never doubt Paddy McCloskey! You go!
Thats what we do Judy. The Flying Smittys and the McCloskeys. Get it while we can.
So glad that they got you going Pat, and more winter weather on the way! Thanks for getting me started in this so many years ago! Great post!
Always glad to be a part of your ski experiences Art. Enjoy Telluride