Go For It Skiing Moms!
By. Julie Kehoe
I’m a mom who has grown up skiing only Mid West Ski Resorts. Not a lot of explanation is necessary for the skiing experience; we have had inconsistent winters, runs that are not all that challenging and long waits in ski lift lines and the ride down finishes in a minute or two. I’m not slamming our ski areas, I’m really thankful that I got to learn to ski here and I have had positive experiences and so much fun. I consider myself a cautious skier – I don’t want to crash, so the two trips I’ve been fortunate enough to take were amazing but slightly nerve racking adventures.
I skied in Utah 15 years ago and it was beautiful. I did have some concerns and fears of what to expect. I DID NOT WANT to wipe out, ski a black diamond that was not suited for me or be confused of where all the trails and runs went. I took it slow the first time I skied powder to get the feel of it, oh my, it took more work than I was expecting. I had to pace myself while I was getting used to being at a higher elevation, but with my backpack with granola bars and waters for trail side breaks I adapted with no problem.
My family skied at approximately 10,000 feet, at times the winds were extremely strong and we were in the clouds, I was getting pushed along by wind (that was a bit scary). We came to the cat walk to get down to the next plateau, my next challenge – a very narrow path. With some encouragement from my kids, I DID IT! After successfully navigating the narrow path, the plateau we were on was not windy and had a stunning snow covered mountain view.
The average length of ski runs, for me, were approximately 20-30 minutes on paths that were suited for my ski level with a bit of a challenge as well. Easier terrain (where I skied) continuously met up with and split apart from more difficult terrain (where my husband and older kids skied). It’s all about trusting your instincts and knowing when to push yourself and when to take it easy.
After having four children I ski when I can, unfortunately that isn’t as often as I would like. When I got another opportunity to ski out west, this time at Lake Tahoe, CA; I jumped on it. I was so excited to go although I had some fears and reservations of the unknown once again. In preparation for the Tahoe ski trip I decided to replace my 15 year old skis and ski boots which made the trip to Utah with me. My new skis were almost 20 centimeters shorter and had shape… Holy Cow! What a difference! It was so easy to make turns. The new skis were light weight and still felt really stable. It was almost like I just had to think about turning and they turned. The new boots were very comfortable and toasty warm thanks to the fleecy lining. Since my daughter didn’t go on this trip, I borrowed her helmet. I got so many compliments on how cool it was, which made me feel much better about wearing a helmet since style is so important to me.
Once again I experienced skiing on powder and you do work a bit harder – but you do get used to it. Besides a little physical challenge is good for you! By the end of the week the powder, longer runs, tree skiing, and unknown terrain were no big deal. I felt like I was skiing stronger and more confidently. I was in control as I skied at my level although there were factors to create challenges – it was amazing and I felt great as I skied more.
My message here is to encourage moms and women of all but mostly middle ages to: Go For It! Have fun and continue to experience skiing at a new or bigger resort. When you are prepared with the right gear and a backpack of snacks it is easy to take on challenges that you didn’t think you could accomplish.