It was one of those unpredictable memory-making experiences that consistently happen when you’re a ski family.
When youth-group lessons release on Saturday afternoons at Eldora Mountain, Colo., there are probably 300 families hitting Boulder Canyon Drive, a twisty, narrow two-laner that shadows Middle Boulder Creek down the canyon. A few years ago, as my wife and two kids, with me at the wheel, were crawling in a line of traffic heading home, some weird inversion happened and the wet asphalt instantly became covered in black ice just as the road started to curve. Looking a few vehicles ahead, I saw one car spin off to the right, stopping with its nose over the streambed.
It’s a wonder we didn’t end up with serious injuries to our wool-hat-clad heads.
Hunter Mountain, N.Y., isn’t where I actually learned to ski. But Hunter is indeed where I learned to ski. Chasing my older brother down icy black diamonds like Hell Gate and Minya Konka, yard-saling big-time on the double blacks at Hunter West—Westway, under the liftline, even. No matter how hard I skied—or rather how hard I bit it—my brother never let me win.
I’d like to apologize to everyone in those liftlines whose skis I walked on.
I’d like to thank all the guys—students at Norwich University, all pushing retirement age by now—who gave me shoulder rides to the top of my local hill in central Vermont. I was five, too small to hold down the poma platter. They made a little boy with a runny nose very happy. Man, how I loved to ski when I was five.
The World War II vet, and subject of the movie “Unbroken,” brought hundreds of boys to Mammoth Mountain to ski, fish, and keep out of trouble.
Louis Zamperini, the subject of the upcoming film “Unbroken,” wasn’t just a weekend warrior skier. He came to Mammoth Mountain with a bigger purpose: to help underprivileged boys stay out of trouble.
Zamperini established the Victory Boys Camp around 1953, according to an oral history document by the Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles, and skiing was one of the many activities he introduced to those boys.
Living the ski lifestyle isn’t exactly easy for most busy parents. But where there’s a will, there’s a way.
It’s 9:30 on a midwinter Friday night, and a river of red taillights winds its way east along I-80 up and over the High Sierra. Many of the cars are heading to old family cabins and rental properties around Lake Tahoe—places that are dark and empty most weekdays. But late on Fridays they come to life with the warmth of wood stoves and soft lights and the comforting smells of home-cooked lasagna and chili and hot chocolate.