A Family Adventure

Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

Mom and Isaac mini winter vacation

February 23, 2021
Emilie Phillips

Isaac had school vacation at the end of February as usual. Unlike usual, though, we couldn’t spend the week on an epic ski adventure with the grandparents. So, instead, I took two days off work and met up with friends in the Whites for cross country skiing.

We actually brought our Telemark skis too, but the breakable crust dissuaded us and our friends from going off groomed terrain.

Tuesday – Bretton Woods Nordic

Tuesday we met up with Sarah and her kids Fenton and Lena. We met them last year and they are a good match. Sarah is an avid outdoorswoman like me. Fenton and Isaac, despite being a couple years apart, both like playing and going on their skis.

Lunch in the shelter

We picked Bretton Woods because neither of us knew it well. We were interested in something new. We found a good selection of rolling terrain. Their blacks weren’t worth mentioning. On a week day, the trails were pretty empty. We even got the B&M shelter to ourselves for lunch. Lena was especially happy about lunch because she got to get out of the pulk and bounce on the loose floor board. She wasn’t too thrilled when everyone else put skis on and she had to go back in the pulk. I think as soon as she can figure out how to keep her feet going straight, she’ll be trying to keep up with the older kids on skis.

Damp clouds moving in

By the afternoon, the air warmed up above freezing. The possible rain storms held off, but it still felt humid. I tried out the ungroomed snow a few times, hoping the thaw would soften the crust and consolidate it with the softer snow underneath. In places it did, and in places it didn’t. Meanwhile, Sarah’s scales started sticking horribly to the snow. She would grow an inch thick layer of snow stuck to her skis, then we would stop and scrape. Neither of us had remembered our glide wax. The best I had was my blue grip wax. It’s an odd choice to wax scales with grip wax to get more glide, but that’s what I did. She didn’t exactly get glide, but at least she stopped building a flattened snowman under her skis.

Sarah has a background in science education, so I got all sorts of good reference material from her

  • Citizen snow depth measurements for use in hydrology and climate research.  http://communitysnowobs.org/ Anyone can get the MountainHub app and start contributing
  • The Gardener and the Carpenter by Alison Gopnik. A book on letting kids flourish in their own ways.
  • Be a Bad Lass. A blog about inspirational outdoor women’s approach to learning and life
  • Growing Home. Sarah’s own consulting business to help families be happier and bring more nature into their lives.


Continued in the next post: Vacation day 2 – Jackson

Photos from Bretton Woods

GPS Track