Powder Day at the Ski Hill!

Usually I write about the days out touring, but I do spend a lot of time skiing the resort as well. I’ve got two little kids, boys 10 and 6 years old, so not every day is going to be a 3000 v.m slogfest.

I’ll admit I was conflicted this morning. I wanted to get out under my own power and I even loaded up my touring gear and put on my TLTs but as I was going up to the car it dawned on me that while the powder was OK, it probably wasn’t more than 10cm of it, and my wife and kids were laughing and squealing and I hadn’t had a powder day with them all year. 

It’s not going to be so long before my oldest isn’t really hip to skiing with mom and dad, and once these days are gone, they’ll be gone forever. I shouldn’t pass them up as often as I do.

I’ve always been a solo ski tourer. I actually rarely go with others because it’s almost impossible to find partners who want to go and have time. It used to be easier, but now, everyone has kids and jobs, and frankly, seems like everyone has given the sport up. Most of the people I’m thinking of probably wouldn’t see it that way – but if your three years since your last tour and you don’t have any gear – it’s kind of hard to claim you’re a skier.

It’s not a criticism of them – that’s the way things are for many. I get it. Still – ski touring for me is primarily a solitary activity and for someone like me, with a curmudgeonly personality and a tendency to isolation, skiing with my family is a nice variation and probably beneficial.

The snow was still coming down when we got up the hill to Hochfügen. It’s only about 10 minutes up the hill, so it’s where we ski. We’re not all that big on skiing all over the place and pistes are pistes. Long travel and cost associated with lift tickets at dozens of resorts doesn’t make sense for us. Besides – we know the place, and they know us. If my kids got separated from us, they wouldn’t worry a bit. They’d just ski to their favorite restaurant and get something to drink. Money is not really required because the people who work there know us, and they know we’re good for it. It’s a nice feeling.

The place is emptying out after the Faschings holiday. Normally. – that marks the end of the season for the casual skier – after Fasching, the only people left are the season pass holders, but for now, there are still a few Dutch vacationers in large groups. We got off the piste right away and rode the heavy boot-top powder (?) that had really only just covered the manky leftovers that we’ve been skiing for two weeks.

My oldest, at 10, can really ski. I was impressed watching him plow through the challenging snow and remain light on his feet.His younger brother stuck with Sabine but still was riding the pow – which for him was more like knee deep. It’s a trick for him – but he’s only six- so the fact that he skis powder at all is pretty cool.

In any case – both of them were getting attention for their skills from the people on the T-bar that we kept skiing near. It made me a proud Dad, and I recognized again that in another five years or so, it’s likely my oldest will ski better than I do. That’s a good thing.

The best part was that because the snow was difficult and the weather was less than super, most everyone left. 

And then the sun came out!

We made a few more runs enjoying the refreshed winter scenery and the warm weather. I followed the kiddos into the woods and had to break off – they were going into gaps so small, i just couldn’t fit! They just laughed at me.

It wasn’t long before the both of them were tired and needing a warm spot to sit, so we ended the day, like most, at the cafe in the gondola building, where we get what we want without having to order. 

It was a great day – and I’m looking forward to the empty slopes and the warm sunny days in the high mountains that remain. The best part of the ski season is just starting…..

PS – if you are thinking about getting after it tomorrow- be very careful. The wind was massive yesterday and now, with the new snow, you can’t see the wind loaded stuff. It’s not well bound at all. I was able to stomp on and slide anything with more than about 30 degree angle, and that was in the resort!

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