Adventuring Solo: Making the Case for Skiing Alone

Solo Adventures in Skiing

Solo exploring: It’s what I do. One day I just got tired of waiting for adventure partners to join me outdoors, so I took matters into my own hands and headed out on a trail run by myself. It might not seem like a big deal to you but, growing up with a protective mom in an urban southern city, I felt very vulnerable, as if everyone was wondering what a girl was doing out in the elements by herself — and that I might fall down the mountain and no one would be able to find me for days.

Hey, no one said fears are rational.

Fast forward a few years and you’ll find that solo adventuring is now my norm. I do get a chance to hang out with friends from time to time, but I don’t allow my love of being outdoors to get squashed by not having a partner.

Solo Adventures in Skiing

The most common place you’ll see me by myself? On the ski hill. I simply can not stand idly by and let a season’s worth of pristine Snowbasin powder go untouched by my skis. It took some cautious first days to get used to skiing solo, but then I bucked up, got some confidence and thought to myself, “So what if people wonder why I’m here by myself? [By the way, they weren’t.] Skiing is the one thing I do for pure enjoyment. I’ll be darned if I let others stand in my way.”

Solo Adventures in Skiing

But no one was standing in my way. In fact, if anyone took that role, it would have been me — at least me before I put my brave pants on. But once I did, I was liberated. The more I faced adventures head on, the more confidence surged, not only in my my ability to play outdoors alone, but in my personal endeavors. I found myself holding back less in life and charging forward more — and wondering why the heck I waited so long to lead my own life.

I’ve also learned the beauty of “me” time. Take, for instance, this Christmas. As my family is over 2,500 miles away, I was spending the holiday without loved ones; however, I couldn’t quite fathom the idea of being alone, sulking in the shadow of a Christmas tree. So I put those brave pants on (read: ski pants) & made the short trek from bustling Salt Lake City to the peaceful quiet of the snowy valley where Snowbasin resides.

It was at this picturesque resSolo Adventures in Skiingort that I found an atmosphere of acceptance. Folks donning Santa hats and smiles were all around me: an outdoor family of sorts. No one judged me. I took the chance to talk to others on the lifts, or ride completely alone as it suited my mood. Whispering through trees or laying rails down on groomers, the adventure was my own. Add to that the brilliant sunshine on still untracked powder stashes and Snowbasin’s incredible red rock outcroppings and you’ll understand why I felt deliriously lucky to be in the midst of it all.

Don’t sit home. Take charge. Adventure and a better you is waiting above the city, above the noise: a glistening slice of confidence that somehow transcends the ski boundaries and seeps into your daily life. It’s addicting, this solo exploring — and it’s empowering.

A Christmas to Remember

Family watching Santa arrive

The smell of citrus and cinnamon. Bright starbursts exploding over white ski runs, over white blanketed trees, over rose cheeks from the cold. Hearty laughs from Dad. Roaring fires to warm the face and carols sung to a starry sky. That is what I remember most about Christmas growing up.

I don’t remember what I got from Santa when I was eight. I don’t remember which toy I waited in earnest for. What I remember is where I was; who I was with.

Arriving at Snowbasin’s Christmas Eve celebration I feel like I’d transferred back in time to my childhood. Back to a time when Christmas was more than check lists, gift buying, and a series of errands. Back to the joy of anticipation, the wonder of beauty, and the peace in simple moments.

We arrive early, maybe 4:30pm, but the party has long started. And despite the crowds all searching for a table and chairs, everyone is in such a great mood. With every elbow bumped and toe stepped on I hear, “Merry Christmas,” at least a dozen times over. At one point I stop in the middle of Earl’s Lodge, with candle light falling around me, spin in a circle and think, “it is like we are all one big family!”

Christmas Eve at Earl's Lodge

Then Santa arrives in his decked out “ski sleigh” and I can’t help but run outside with all the kids, giggling as anticipation brims over. I even ditch my mom, who was saving the table, to do it.

All the kids run inside and wait for a chance to sit on Santa’s lap for one last Christmas wish before Christmas morning.

After a dinner of turkey, pork, ham, creamy potatoes, crisp veggies, and decadent desserts we meander outside for the highlight of the evening: the ski light parade and fireworks.

And just like when I was a little girl, staring up at the towering Rocky Mountains, the air fills with citrus and cinnamon. Mixes with the smell of cold and snow.

The bright starbursts explode over white ski runs, over white blanketed trees, over rosy cheeks from the cold. There are hearty laughs from Dad. Roaring fires and carols sung… all to a starry night sky.

Watching Fireworks at the Christmas Eve, Snowbasin

 

 

 

A first look at the new Burton Riglet Snowboard Park!

Rails in the Burton Riglet PArk

Last weekend we checked out the new Burton Dinosaur Riglet Park at Snowbasin Resort, UT. My five year old son, with no snowboarding experience, had an amazing time!

Riglet Parks use terrain-based learning to teach young kids to snowboard. What this means is that my son can skip the hours, days, and weeks needed to learn technical skills and skip right to the fun stuff! And I can skip the painful times of frustration, tears and anger that often accompany learning a new winter sport.

Snowbasin created a fun dinosaur-themed environment where my son can learn all the basics of snowboarding while riding over mellow terrain features like berms, rollers, and rails.

Getting strapped in at the burton Riglet Park

WHEN YOU VISIT:

We found the Burton Riget Park right next to the Grizzly Center and outside the Snowsports Learning Center at Snowbasin. After signing waivers, my son’s instructor took him to get boots and a board.

Out front, he got to meet Dino and Terry, the local Snowbasin dinosaurs. His imagination was ignited and then he was off!

The instructors used small snowboards fitted with a Riglet Reel (a thin retractable cord mounted on the front) to pull my son through the course. As my son’s balance and board control improved they were able to let go, even allowing him to ride the back side of a berm or rail completely hands free!

WHAT TO EXPECT:

My son had a fantastic time exploring a new winter sport, which in itself is a miracle. If you have young kids and have taught them a new sport such as skiing or snowboarding, then you know those first few times can be truly frustrating for everyone involved. My son had a huge smile the entire time! So did I.

As a bystander I was amazed by the positive and fun atmosphere created by the instructors. They were always quick with a high five and encouraging words. Watching them with other kids, I was able to see that they could quickly adjust to the different ages, abilities and temperaments.

With young kids, one of the most important things (IMHO) is a building atmosphere. I don’t necessarily care if my son walks away on track to being the next Shaun White. I want him to believe a little more in his strength and ability to try new things and succeed. Snowbasin’s Riglet Park, accomplished just that.

 Riding Dino at the Burton Riglet Park

Flying Kangaroos at The FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships and Autograph Signing Dec 3oth

The Australian Women’s Aerial Ski Team, also known as “The Flying Kangaroos” will be competing this January at the annual FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships taking place at Deer Valley and Park City Mountain Resorts. Come cheer on Snowbasin Resort’s international partners in their breathtaking aerials for a high flying experience you’ll never forget.

In addition, The Flying Kangaroos will be at Snowbasin Resort on Monday, December 30th to meet the public and sign autographs in Earl’s Lodge from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.

About the Flying Kangaroos and Snowbasin Resort:

The Flying Kangaroos have made Snowbasin their North American Home Resort since 2003. The team of young women includes World Champions and Olympic Medalists including two gold and a silver in Vancouver 2010. These women will be working on their technical skiing skills, aerial jumping, and simply skiing different types of terrain at Snowbasin. They’ll be easy to recognize in their Australian ski team uniforms.