A Family Adventure


Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

First Ski Day

November 12, 2017
Emilie Phillips

The radio said the first NH ski areas were planning to open for the weekend, Bretton Woods and Wildcat were blowing snow. The weather had been so warm in October and the first half of November that not even the far northern Maine ski areas had opened yet.

Isaac checking if his skis still fit

Isaac was desperate to go skiing, and Tyson and I were getting antsy too. Bretton Woods opened two trails from midway down the mountain. Wildcat had one trail top to bottom open. In the morning we headed north. As we turned onto Rt 13, I remembered that last night driving south on 13, I had seen Wachusett’s lights. I quickly checked their site my phone, and sure enough, Wachusett had just opened that morning. A thirty minute drive for limited skiing sounded much better than two hours and thirty minutes. So I told Tyson to turn around and drive south on Rt 13.

Eliza, Anne, and Ted

Even better, we discovered Ted, Anne, and their daughter would also be at Wachusett. The snow conditions were challenging. There was one green run and one blue run open. The green run was mostly fine on the trail — standard New England packed powder. If you skied off the edge, you encountered a mixture of dirt and grass stalks fortified by several inch thick casings of ice. The blue trail was another matter. The groomer had left icy grass nubbins in the trail. One of the steeper slopes had snow only on a narrow band. And the whole trail was quickly scraped to ice.

Isaac started out noticeably weaker than he was last year, but he kept going back to the blue run to try again until he skied the whole way without falling. Ted said my technique looked quite awkward no matter how many monomarks I tried. Tyson looked good and his knees even cooperated. There was quite a contingent of Telemark skiers. At one point all of us congregated together on the green slope to fix one guy’s new NTN binding.

Best of all, Isaac, who had been in an irritable slump for the past month, cheered up for good.

Video

Tyson took video of Isaac and Emilie skiing.

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