Last winter and spring, I was pretty notorious for managing to juggle classes, work and fun. I definitely went skiing during finals last spring and still did well on all my finals. This fall, in comparison, has not been as fun. After my friend Shreya sent me an email last week encouraging me not to burn myself out and to remember to take time for myself, I did just that yesterday. Since I didn’t have to go to work yesterday, I decided to take full advantage of my free day and go skiing at Breckenridge.
I’m not a huge morning person, and I sometimes struggle to leave my house before 8 a.m. to get to work. Naturally the day that I had plans to go skiing I had no problem waking up at 6 a.m. and hitting the road to make first chair at Breckenridge. I checked the trail map on the website the night before, and I was excited to see that a lot of runs on Peak 8 were open. When I went skiing at ABasin and Keystone a few weeks ago, only one run was open on each mountain.
The drive to Breckenridge was effortless and I am just cringing thinking about how in a month traffic on I-70 is going to start to be awful. I’m appreciative of many aspects of early season skiing, like the lack of traffic. There was also a lack of people at Breckenridge. Even though only one peak was open, there was absolutely nobody there. I have never seen Breckenridge so barren, and I kind of loved it.
It had been a few weeks since I had last skied, so I totally chickened out on my first run and did an easy blue. After gaining some serious confidence, I hit Spruce like five times in a row and had an absolute blast. Spruce is a “black” on Peak 8, and it’s definitely all relative. It’s not a hard run, but it was steep and fun to fly down. I’m pretty sure in my previous life I was a ski racer. I love flying down the slopes!
Looking up at Spruce
Because of the non-existent lift lines, I was able to cover some serious ground. I reluctantly took a quick break around 10:30, but I think I hit at least six runs within the first hour, which is probably a personal record for me at Breckenridge. My break involved tea, a granola bar, and Justin’s chocolate almond butter. That’s right, I have discovered the perfect ski snack! I just brought a bag of tea, a packet of Justin’s chocolate almond butter, and then swiped a free Nature Valley granola bar from the ticket office. It was filling and easy to carry in my jacket. Feel free to steal my idea!
The best part of my day by far was when I got in trouble by the ski patrol for going too fast by the base area. I’m now one of those people – it was a proud moment. After ski patrol yelled at me, this other skier guy came up behind me in the lift lines and told me I had “great lines.” I had no idea what he was talking about because I guess I’ve never been the recipient of kudos on skiing. He then he continued to tell me that I had great lines, crisp turns and he had been trying to follow me down the mountain. First compliment I have ever received on my skiing! It was music to this second year skier’s ears. Actually I had been feeling better than ever on my runs down Spruce. I don’t know if it’s my Volkl Auroras or if I just finally get it, but I’m starting to feel like a real skier. I still have a long ways to go, but it was definitely encouraging to receive a random compliment. Next up – tackling moguls!
When I think about where my ability was at the beginning of last ski season and where my ability level is now, I’m pretty darn excited for the upcoming season. It’s going to be epic. And skiing yesterday gave me some serious perspective. Just three more days of finals, and then I can have my life back and focus on important things. Like skiing.