After weeks and months of waiting for snow, it's finally here. Resorts are opening up, snow is falling, and people are starting to think about their favorite winter sport again. We've had a beautiful leaf season, and a long dry wait for winter, so skiers are chomping at the bit, and resorts are rushing to blow as much snow as possible to ensure that everyone that drives North for their holiday vacation has something to slide on.
This isn't the way it always was though. The old-timers assure me that in the ski seasons of their youth, no one skied very much before the middle of December, and no one held out any hope for Killington or Sunday River opening in late October. Rather than compensating for nature's early-season shortcomings with multi-million dollar snow making systems, skiers simply waited until the natural snow fell. Their patience was usually well-rewarded, and they seemed to preserve their love of snow much later in the season when - big secret here - the skiing is actually better than it is early in the season.
I'm not trying to discourage anyone from getting out early in the year, quite the opposite, I'm hoping to encourage you to hold onto the feeling of joy and anticipation that you have now throughout the season and on into the spring. Take a moment on your first day out to really savor that feeling of being on the mountain with friends, and make sure to conjure it up if you find yourself getting burned out in the middle of the year. There are always a ton of reasons to not go skiing, but I don't know many people who ever regret skiing once they get on the hill.
Have fun out there, I sure am.
Eric Wilbur is a lifelong recreational skier who spends most of his winter and spring in the mountains of New England. He does not ski in jeans. You can read more of Eric's work here.
Heather Burke is an award winning ski journalist with over a decade of ski news coverage. As a former ski instructor and a ski parent, she knows the ski biz from the inside out. She and her family visit New England ski resorts, as well as the West and Canada, to report on the latest trends and their best family finds. Her husband Greg takes all the accompanying photos, and their work can be seen at www.familyskitrips.com and www.luxuryskitrips.com.