"The fact that you are back skiing so soon speaks to the passion that you have for the sport and for your ski writing," said my editor friend Susan Grisanti. Fellow ski writer Amy Patenaude (of the Pat's Peak family) said, "Heather, I believe you have never taken for granted how much you love to ski and that you didn't need an injury to remind you how much you love to fly downhill! You are strong and fast and fun, and we all want you back on the slopes!"
Comments like that make me grateful for what I do, and for the people who share my passion. I am also thankful that my tibia fracture did not sideline me for the entire ski season - just 5 painful weeks. The physical discomfort was nothing compared to the emotional frustration and fear of losing what I love. Writing about skiing from my desk looking out at the continually accumulating snow was anguish. But I had friends sending me texts and messages that they were skiing my favorite runs for me, keeping me in the alpine loop in my absence. I appreciate my close-knit ski family and community more than I can express.
This weekend at Sunday River, being able to ski wall to wall corduroy, cranking arcs on a white welcome mat of soft snow with friends was amazing. We skied 45 runs and logged 54,000' of vertical in two days - which is way more fun that rehabbing on a stationary bike! Shout out to to Sunday River's groomers for the seamless carpet from Jordan Bowl to White Heat.
I thank all of you, friends and followers for your kind words of encouragement, for reading my blogs, even when I was fractured and freaking out, broken and blue, and for the big smiles when you saw me back on the slopes.
And finally to my husband, my forever ski date and photographer, thank you for shoveling all that powder snow that fell in February and for not pointing out the obvious - that I jammed up our winter plans with my injury. But the rest, and the best, is still to come this ski season. Stay tuned.
Sunday River Photos by Greg Burke
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.