There’s a part of me that always finds it so funny how excited people are to ski that first day. People line up to go ski minimal terrain early season, usually snowmaking conditions, on the East Coast. The early season hype is real. Opening Day is a like a celebration. “Ha!” I wryly think. “Save the excitement for when conditions are really good!” But then I actually get out on the hill for my first run. And sure enough, three turns later, that big early season smile creeps up on my face.
Sure, your first day of the season isn’t typically a powder day (if it is I hope you’re in shape!). It’s not typically a nice warm spring skiing adventure (if it is I’d ask where were you the rest of the season!). But there’s something about that first day experience on the hill that remains unmatched.
Yesterday during our soft opening, I jumped on Super Bravo for my first turns of the year. I hadn’t skied since March 14th, when we closed last season and entered a world of working from home and basically never leaving the Valley for nine months straight (aside from a trip to Burlington for the birth of our son). So there was this incredible sense of freedom, or perhaps escapism, as I pointed my skis down Downspout and finally spread my wings after sitting in the nest so long. One turn, two turns, three turns, and there it was: that early season smile, a little wider than normal given the past nine months. It’s a smile that can rarely be replicated any other time of year.
Conditions were even pretty good given the weather challenges presented to us this early season. No, they weren’t anything I would call my friends up about on a normal day in the season. But this wasn’t a normal day. It was my first day. And it holds the promise of many more turns to come. It also helps justify all the hard work we’ve put in over the past months getting things ready for winter. We all deserve those first day smiles. We’ve earned it.
I got back out on the hill today, our official Opening Day, and still enjoyed every turn I made, but nothing will take away from my Day 1. Especially after a nine month hiatus. In fact, believe it or not, I’d say it was the best day I’d had all season.