Every ski season I get anxious. I have to get that first ski day out of the way. Honestly, I get worked up, worry if my equipment will be right, will my fitness level be sufficient. Will I remember how to ski? Turns out every year that first day, those first ski turns, go well. Phew. After 40 years of skiing (OMG - scary stat), it's truly like riding a bike - muscle memory and ski habits aren't forgotten.
My first day back on skis was this Sunday, and I didn't forget anything - not even goggles or hand warmers (thanks to my mental checklist). My husband Greg & I left the house well before dawn and arrived at Sunday River before 8am lift opening. The only thing I had forgotten over the snowless months was how hard it is to put my ski boots on..."rrrg" (that's the sound I make in the ski resort parking lot wedging my feet in my tight boots).
My season's first turns on a brand new trail, T72 at Sunday River, were sublime. Well groomed snow was grippy and fast on the cold clear morning. And all those favorite ski sensations came back like an old friend - the pull of gravity, the view of perfect cord in my path, the carve of my boards on the snow, and that familiar fire in my quads. Next run we loaded the gondola with Roxanne and Wayne Cartwright, so nice to see friendly ski faces we haven't seen since last winter. "First day this year?" I asked. "14," Wayne replied. Game on, good to be back on skis, I have got some serious catching up to do.
Photos by Greg Burke, Sunday River
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.