Fate and fall line magic were at play when it comes to my ski love story. You could say it all started when my stepfather rode the Gunstock chairlift with my future father in law back in 1978. During that long double chair ascent, my stepdad bought a ski lodge in Vermont, basically sight unseen. So our family packed and moved to Smugglers Notch Vermont to run the Red Fox Alpine Lodge. It was several years later that I met Greg, the son of the aforementioned chairlift real estate broker.
I will never forget the day at Smugglers Notch when Greg and my eyes met. I was too young at that first brief encounter, 16, still there were stars, that magic feeling. Time passed, I grew up a little, but I did not forget him.
I ski instructed at Smuggs during my college years at UVM. That’s when I saw him skiing, making powerful smooth arcing turns below me as I rode the Madonna chair. Who’s that? I asked, and wouldn’t you know it was Greg again, the man destined to be my forever Valentine.
One of our first dates we skied at Stowe. The sun was high that spring day, the moguls were soft, and my knees were weak (as the saying goes) not just from the many runs we took on the Front Four. It’s all history now, but one thing remains true, skiing is our glue. Even teaching our kids to ski was something we tackled together, the fun, the tears, the stress, the expense, and the joy of seeing them excel and love skiing as we do.
Skiing is such a romantic sport, at least for me. It’s exhilarating facing the winter elements, gliding down a spectacular snowy mountain with that someone special. As I think of our best moments together, many have been on a ski mountain somewhere. It’s not always a perfect sunshine, fresh snow day; we have skied in the rain, the howling wind, we even got lost in Zermatt. Skiing challenges us both, there are lots of ups and downs, just like a marriage.
We both love skiing, and sharing that passion has been a significant part of our romance and the fate that keeps us on track. There are many ski places we have yet to visit, and our mutual bucket list will bring us there together. I hope you find your forever ski mate. I know I am “waxing” too romantic, but Happy Vertical Valentine’s Day.
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.