New Year’s Day, 2013 launched ski season here in the crooked little shack. The scene: Stevens Pass. Allow me to introduce the players.
The Daddy: Expert snowboarder. Enjoys the backside and the terrain park, and has different gear for each. Officially exempted from all household responsibilities on Sundays between late November and early April.
The Mama: That’s me. Complete klutz failed to link turns for nearly a decade until the invention of the rocker board finally launched me onto the blue runs. I like a dusting of fresh snow over a groomed run, on a bluebird day when the temperature is over 20 and under 30 – otherwise, I like a beer in the lodge.
The XX, age 8: Ski school graduate rocks the black diamonds with her daddy; building up to jumps in the park. Beginning snowboarder; after trying a couple days on the board last season, committed to multiweek board class this year. Never misses a Sunday.
Little A, age 4: Went to ski school three times last season, and looks forward to graduating to the Magic Carpet.
The Daddy and XX have been going up together every Sunday in season for 4 years. I spent the winter of 2002 in south India and missed an epic season. It took a few years to get back up, and after only a couple of days on the mountain, “family-building” put a stop to extreme sports like snowboarding, kung fu, and leaving the house ever. Several years passed. Then, at the beginning of last season, The Daddy gave me a new board for my birthday; a rockered, freestyle twin Arbor with FSC-certified core and recycled metal edges and bioplastic topsheet over limited edition “Hummingbird” artwork by Kyle Caldabaugh.
Four days later, Little A turned three, and ski school became an option. Suddenly, skiing was an option for the whole family. We waited for perfect scheduling and snow conditions before bringing the whole family up for a snow day. Even with something like five years since my last day up, I was linking turns on my first run with the new board. Fact: rocker boards rule. Taking it slow and easy, we did three half days in 2012.
Stevens Pass opened November 19, 2012 with 25 inches of snow reported at the base, and 32 inches reported at the upper mountain weather station. With only a couple of lifts running and discounted rates for “early season conditions,” even The Daddy and XX held off until the first week in December. December saw a few mountain days for The Daddy and XX. Even Little A got up to the mountain once when XX was down with the flu. The Mama was so busy writing up Airwaves interviews she didn’t notice when everyone left for the mountain. But on New Year’s Day the outlook was good and the schedules were free. It was the perfect day to kick off the full-family season.
This year Stevens Pass celebrates its 75th birthday, but for us this is the base year.