The joy of skiing

Ski season has finally started at Lake Tahoe, with the openings of Mt. Rose, Heavenly, Northstar-at-Tahoe and Squaw Valley this week.  N and I actually had plans to head to Mammoth (which has been open since October), but his asymptomatic manflu reared up again, leaving him with no desire to move, much less drive 2+ hours to ski – especially after a snowstorm left the roads a bit messy, and the mountains with upwards of 6 inches of new snow.

I decided to head to Heavenly for opening day on Saturday.  I was cautious in my enthusiasm, knowing that there would only be two runs open. I figured the resort would be mobbed with people by about 10 am, all fighting for the same 20 acres of man-made/natural groomed snow.  Add to that my own skepticism about my still-injured chest, and a strangely irrational fear that I’d forgotten how to make a tele turn, and, well, you might say I had low expectations.
Happily, my expectations were surpassed exponentially.  Not only did my chest not hurt, but I could still link a tele turn, there were very few people around for the first few hours, and the snow conditions were pretty darn good, with soft carveable groomers and some untracked snow on the sides of the run.
Did I mention it was a bluebird day after a snowstorm, which meant the white peaks nicely contrasted with the cerulean blue of Lake Tahoe? I had a huge, stupid grin on my face for the 2+ hours I was out.  I had forgotten how much FUN I have skiing, and it took a groomed blue run to remind me of the exuberance and dumb joy I get from telemark skiing.
And I’m not in this official Heavenly vid, but I think it shows the excitement everyone had about getting back on snow.

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