Surveys cite high cost as the main reason people avoid skiing. Those who think this way haven’t made the commitment.
Skiing is not about lift tickets. It’s a lifestyle. It’s being a skier, an identity not felt just between November and April but all year. After being christened, skiers find ways to make it happen. Cost is relative when you’re dedicated.
I remember the very moment the soul of skiing entered my blood. It was 1956 at Winter Park, Colorado. A fledgling on the bunny slopes, I was warming up in the base lodge with friends from the Eskimo Ski Club. Just as I was thinking I’d never become a skier, Josephine, the most popular girl in my freshman class, burst onto the scene with three boys. With a dramatic sweep of her hand, Jo brushed fresh snow from her hair and announced, “It’s snowing up top.”
Up top. Those words became a metaphor for what I seek to this day every time I ski – the melding of mind and body, the elegance of a perfect turn, the soothing of my soul in the beauty of winter. The spirit of skiing compels me to look for peaks beyond, to aspire higher.
When I married a man who was a ski racer in high school and college, skiing became the strongest bond in our life. Family getaways to our condo at Steamboat were unquestionably the happiest times of our marriage. Our five children followed us around the mountain like little ducklings, until, of course, they realized they could go faster and ski in the trees.
Skiing is about packing the car for long weekends, candy breaks in the woods, games by the night fire, and walks in the moon glow to the ice cream shop. It’s finding a lost mitten and learning to carry your own equipment.
My mountain memories are priceless.
I know my children felt the spirit as deeply as we did. When they mingled their father’s ashes with the dirt of our favorite ski run at Steamboat, my daughter said, “He’ll love the view.”