The 2018-19 ski season has been absolutely bananas so far. Tons of snow to enjoy with friends, family, or solo for some hot laps before work. We all know the saying of “there’s no friends on a powder day”, but I may break the mold here.
Just over a week ago Park City school district issued a snow day. It’s unheard of. Only the third time I’ve seen it in 17 years of living here... and it DUMPED. My own pow day quickly turned into "what are we going to do with the kids?" Mom bit the bullet and stayed home with our daughter who recently broke her arm. I opted to take our 8 year old out for his first big powder day.
I waved goodbye to all my friends going and took my 8 year old son for his first true powder day.
It was awesome. I didn’t miss the laps I could have had with my friends and I shared an amazing experience with my 8 year old all while getting him hooked at Park City Mountain
. Here’s what I learned:
- It’s ok to make them feel a bit of the rush to get up on the hill. Let's be honest. We all feel it, and in truth, it was part of the fun of it. Hustling to get in the van, beat some of the early morning traffic ane get a good spot in lift line was part of the experience for him. We rolled out early enough and even had time for a bathroom break before getting to the lift line.
Patience is a virtue. We made the bet that Crescent would be busy and decided to go to Eagle with the plan of heading to King Con and Motherload. You don’t get as high up but there is potential to beat others on the mountain and get some good, long runs. We waited, and waited and waited. The chair finally started spinning but a patroller quickly stopped that letting the lifties know King Con still wasn’t open. Skunked!!
Gotta stay on your toes: Making sure to listen and hearing the news we quickly bolted to the First Time lift so we could get up to Crescent. We were able to beat much of the newly formed crowd that was going to do the same.
Skiing in powder with kids that weigh 50lbs and are new to it can be tough! Have fun with it and keep it mellow. There was lots of following "dads" tracks at the start of runs. It allowed Roark to build up some speed to go on his own once we got to the steeper sections. It was perfect for him to keep moving and not get frustrated early on in the morning.
Find the goods! Knowing that the runs would be more crowded we hit up the trees where there would be fewer people. This is where it got fun. LOTS of snow, good spacing and the chance to enjoy some turns. The tables turned here and we had to have the conversation of tree wells with lots of dad following Roark now. Keeping an eye on this little guy on a big day like this was key. We stuck together, I showed him lines and let him have first tracks any time I could.
Get em hooked! After some runs off Motherload we made the break to Thaynes and Pioneer. The key lifts to be able to access and keep an eye on that rope drop for Jupiter. During our time there, we noticed McConkeys opened and changed plans. At the lift, we saw a fresh run of powder coming down from Tycoon and it looked awesome… enticing… and Roark immediately wanted to go there. For you veterans out there, you know what this run will look like in the next 3 min… skip it! McConkeys bowl was getting chewed up and my whole goal now was to get Roark a shot as some untouched, as far as the eye can see powder. Go to the chutes or trees, and we did!!!
Chest deep! Skipping all the steep chutes we cruised around Tycoon and found a spot that would be less ridden by many of the skiers on the hill, but perfect for Roark. A bit lower pitch, some tighter trees (which didn’t matter for his little skis) and untouched. There was a moment of hesitation from Roark when I showed him where we were planning on going. He kept wanting to go to the end of the run but you gotta trust dad, and he did. Standing above Roark I reminded him to look forward, pick his line, and have fun. The next few minutes was chest deep powder for Roark followed by giggles, laughter, and some falls in all the snow.
Winning. By the end of the morning, I had to go back to work but Roark kept asking to go for “one more run”. Just one more, just one more, again and again. I gave in once or twice and we found some more fresh tracks on the way down. He loved our pow day together and I didn’t miss having a powder day with friends. That day will go down in the books for both of us. Not just because of the snow and bluebird day, but because of the experience. Roark mentioned that all he wants to do is ski in powder now. I think we can all relate.