Too soon? Nah! Closing weekend of Downhill Mountain Bike Season at Big Sky was last weekend and there was snow on the trails! Friends of mine posted photos of Sacagawea Peak so covered in snow they could not summit the peak. Welcome to fall in Montana!
For me, the second the snow flies & I can no longer get on the trails with my dirt bike or mountain bike – I start thinking about shredding the slopes. Skiing is what gets me through every harsh winter here in Montana. If I didn’t have a hobby I loved that revolved around the relentless white fluff that falls from our skies (for what feels like seven months straight) – I’m honestly not sure that I could live here.
I started skiing when I was five and I’ve loved it ever since. In all honesty, I probably loved it at first because my dad would get me a pink Sobe at the gas station on our drive up; then hot cocoa and french-fries when we would take a break in the lodge. We didn’t have sweets very often in our house – so it was a BIG deal to me. Needless to say, the bribe worked – and I braved the cold for the treats. My dad would un-thaw my feet with his hands while I devoured the french fries – then we would go back out again! I only took a few lessons because skiing came so naturally to me that when my instructor turned around to ski backwards to watch us – I did the same. After that, my parents decided not to waste their money on any more lessons and my dad and Uncle Dave taught me to ski themselves.
I was ten the first time I skied Liberty Bowl off of the Lone Peak Tram at Big Sky. I was a tiny kid – could still wear 5T at that age tiny – and a woman saw me getting on the tram – she decided, “If that little girl can do it – so can I.” …BIG mistake. She lost control and started sliding rapidly towards the far south face of Liberty Bowl that drops into a cliff band. My uncle was previously a US Ski Team skier and skied the fastest I’ve ever seen to throw himself in front of this woman to stop her from going off of the edge. It was incredible. She thanked him for saving her life and told him then she thought she could do it because she saw me. That was a lesson in ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ – you never know someone’s capabilities by looking at them.
At nineteen, I severely broke my back (sledding not skiing) and was partially paralyzed. I had to learn how to walk – and ski – again. Learning to ski did not come as naturally the second time as the first. I empathize with people who learn how to ski as adults – it was hard; and it was painful. I almost gave up – but (finally!) one day during my second season attempting to get back on the slopes – it clicked again. It finally felt right; how I remembered it feeling – muscle memory kicked in and I could ski again! I’m still improving, and to this day, I don’t feel that I am as strong of a skier as I once was. Given the fact that my spine is nearly all metal and I can’t feel parts of my left leg – I still do quite well. There aren’t many situations that I could not ski. That’s an accomplishment I sometimes take for granted when I am having a rough pain / nerve damage day. I’m just grateful I can still ski at all!
However, for me the best part of skiing is sharing my love for it with my family and the kids I love the most. Some of my best memories from my childhood are from skiing with my family. I was also a nanny for nearly ten years and taught several kids to ski; I cherish those memories as well. Watching my kiddos improve each time we get on the mountain and hearing them squeal, “I’m doing it!!” is so rewarding. Meredith’s son Asher skis, as well as Trisha’s daughters Gemma and Chloe. I can only hope they stick with it and find the love I have for it as they grow. I can’t wait until I have kids of my own that I can share this incredible sport with – to teach them to fly down a mountain! It’s one of the best feelings in the world – if you ask me.
We asked Asher & Gemma some questions about skiing:
MEREDITH: “Asher are you excited about skiing this winter?”
MEREDITH: “What are you most excited about it?”
Haha. Good answers bud.
TRISHA: “What do you like about skiing the most?”
GEMMA: “I like that I can do jumps, going fast on the groomers, and I love powder!”
…My kinda girl!
If you or your family are trying to get out on the slopes this winter the best time to buy season passes is NOW! Bridger Bowl’s prices go up on October 15th and Big Sky’s prices go up on September 30th – this weekend!
Here’s a link to all of their season pass options for this winter:
2019-2020 SKI SEASON
See you on the slopes,