A Family Adventure


Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

The three bears of skiing: out the backdoor was just right

January 1, 2017
Emilie Phillips updated March 16, 2017

After our first noreaster, we visited the local cross country ski area, we tried the big resort in the Whites, but best of all was skiing right behind our house. The noreaster arrived Thursday afternoon. The rain line extended north west to Hollis, but in Brookline and Mason it dumped snow. 8.5″ on our deck.

Ski touring center

Everyone headed back to lunch

Since the natural snow was good, we cross country skied Friday. This was our first cross country trip of the season, so we went to a ski touring center with services, Windblown. We found a parking space, but later in the day the parking lot filled up. Initially, Isaac’s skiing was stiff. He would only step his skis, not glide them, and he had troubles turning. His poles from last year were too short. We fixed his technique with a game of frisby. We also stopped for a critical snack at Windblown’s rebuilt warming hut. It’s quite nice. Brighter than the old one that burned down. They haven’t installed the roof insulation yet. Isaac really wanted to ski down a hill just like with his alpine skis. Unfortunately, the downhill frustrated him because cross country skis just don’t turn like alpine skis. At the lodge, we ate lunch and bought Isaac new taller poles. After lunch, we skied a longer tour on greens and blues. Isaac was now gliding some of the time, and climbing hills much better than he ever did last year. Tyson towed Isaac back the last half mile on a pole pomma lift. Isaac now seemed ready for a short back woods tour.

Photos from Windblown

Downhill resort

John skiing a wide glade

Saturday, we drove north to Bretton Woods to practice our telemark. I wanted to focus more on teaching than we had a week earlier during Isaac’s birthday trip to Mt Sunapee. For me, the fun of front country telemark is learning new skills or teaching them. Isaac needed to improve his edge release and initiate turns without a wedge, so I introduced him to garlands and side slips. Then Tyson set up follow-the-leader through glades to make sure Isaac was actually turning. My parents needed to move their weight back and transition edges earlier. For them, I watched and coached. Then I assigned monomark with front foot tap, railroad tracks, and flying tele. The lessons were successful, but the ski area was mobbed. At lunch they ran out of trays and we had to eat outside. The slopes were scraped to ice in places. And the lodge was so packed at quitting time that I lost my sunglasses and pocket knife.

Photos from Bretton Woods

Local back country

Skiing through the woods

So Sunday, we went skiing right out our door. Yes we had to cross one runway and one road and the snow was a little crusty, but we broke our own trail and only saw one other person. Off the northwest end of the runway, Tom has built a system of walking trails. We haven’t been much recently. We discovered he built new trails last year. We skied past sparkling ponds and robins pecking at red chokeberries. We skied up little hills and down little hills and Isaac did better at both than he had two days earlier. So, it might not be Cedar Brook in the Whites, but the woods behind your house can be quite nice compared to a resort on New Years weekend.

All photos from the local trip

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