Uncle. I can't ski anymore. So much snow, so many epic ski days, my ski cup runneth over in the season of 2010-11. I know there is still plenty of snow at Sugarloaf, Saddleback, Sugarbush, Jay Peak and Killington, and even more out West where Snowbird just surpassed 690 inches (a 40-year record) and Mammoth plans to ski until July 4.
I surrender, completely satisfied. If you are still skiing, my ski hat (not a helmet wearer) is off to you and your six months of skiing. My thoughts have admittedly turned to biking (where I do wear a helmet), even waterskiing (no helmet). If you are a golfer (would consider a helmet if I only had the patience to putt a round) you should hit Sugarloaf's Ski and Tee weekend May 14-15.
But I already look forward to next season, that first snowfall and first tracks. Next winter, we can look forward to new quad upgrades at Stowe and Sugarloaf, new glades at numerous New England resorts, and the removal of Killington's mountaintop lodge - to be replaced and reopened the following winter. Next season's passes are already on sale, something to keep you amped through the no-snow months of June, July, August and September.
In other ski news, New Jersey passed a ski helmet law, the first of its kind, requiring all youths 18 and under to wear a helmet while skiing or riding in the state. First fine is $25, $100 for the next offense. Mind you, I wasn't planning any Jersey ski trips anyways. My kids wear helmets, always have, they love their lids. While I am a proponent of the head protection and have complete respect for helmeted skiers and riders, I have done the research and I know that a brain bucket will not save me in a tree collision or high speed crash - so I avoid those. You should too.
One final word, you should put your gear away properly; clean and dry your ski clothing (read: no mold, spring mud or funky smells) so you are set to go next fall at the first snow. Make sure your ski boots are dry, deodorized and buckled before storing them. And put a final tune on your skis or board at a shop or on your own. Filing the edges will remove any rust, and a layer of wax will protect your prized possession until you are reunited for your first run in October or November.
Photo by Greg Burke. For more of Heatherís ski tips, go to www.familyskitrips.com
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.familysktitrips.com and www.luxuryskitrips.com.