Let It Snow!

Last week we got ninety inches of snow. NINETY INCHES. Almost four feet.

It was so much snow that the road was closed for avalanche control for 18 hours straight. So much snow that Sundance Resort couldn’t even open because the road was buried.

The road. Our car. Our house. Everything was buried.

We are buried.

Although we’ve been here almost four years I have never seen a snowfall like this one. Since few people experience the amount of snow I’m talking about I wanted to share some photos. Enjoy this winter wonderland and be grateful you didn’t have to shovel out.

Sitting Out on Skiing With the Tots

Being 9 months pregnant puts a damper on our outdoor activities, but I still want my kids to get out and be active. This is where I recruit others. A few weeks ago Grandpa came to take the kids on a ski adventure. 
With little g only three years old her ski skills are minimal. Just read here to see how well my attempt at skiing with her was. She’s still learning the basic concept of stopping. Thankfully Grandpa was willing to try a short green run with her between his skis. She loves the downhill movement, often saying “Weeee!” as if she’s on a slide at the park. But I feel like it’s a lot of work to take her skiing, which is why she was done after just one run.
Big E on the other hand, has gone semi pro. Not really, but he’s not afraid to ride intermediate blues or try tiny jumps or side trails through the trees. Grandpa, who only gets on skis once or twice a year, said he was a great ski partner. “We’re about at the same level right now, in a few years I’m sure he’ll be blasting past me.”
Watching from the sidelines while my kids had all the outdoor fun would normally make me feel like I was missing out. In this season of my life, however, I can recognize that it’s okay for me to sit out, rest, relax. Just being in the outdoors, breathing the air will have to be enough for now. My body can only handle the extra burden of growing a baby, it can’t handle snowboarding, skiing, hiking and biking as well. And that’s okay. 
It can be hard to love your body as it increases in weight and decreases in energy. But it’s good to try, after all, it’s the only body you’ve got.

January is Learn to Ski or Snowboard Month!

If you’ve ever wanted to learn to ski or snowboard now’s your chance! January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month and several Utah ski resorts are offering beginner deals including a $45 lesson, rental and lift ticket package from Brighton Resort.

Graphic from SkiUtah.com

When I first learned to snowboard it was through Brighton’s Ladies’ Day clinic. I signed up for the four week course with a bit of a rebellious attitude. Mountain Dad and I had been trying to get pregnant with no luck. “Fine,” I thought. “If I can’t be a mom I’ll do something else I’ve always wanted to do.” Thus started my love of downhill snow sports.

Now, years later, I’m in the opposite position. At seven months pregnant, skiing and snowboarding black diamonds is definitely not happening. However, I want my tots to feel the joy of speeding down the mountain, the wind in their hair and a smile on their faces so I decided I’d put on my skis for a little ride in the tow rope area. (I really hope my doctor, mother, and sister aren’t reading this).

Little g and I “skied” a little last year with her between my skis, flopping around like a rag doll while I hunched over her to keep her from rolling snowball-style down the mountain. It was a lot of work for me and she had no control on the snow. At three-years-old this season we have boots that actually fit her and she’s noticeably taller and stronger, although this photo doesn’t exactly show off her strength.

After trudging, buckling, zipping, adjusting, clipping in and finally lining up, we glided up the tow rope. “Weee!” little g exclaimed. “I skiing!” With her between my skis we maneuvered down the slope, me trying to teach her what a snowplow on skis felt and looked like. She didn’t quite get the concept, but she enjoyed the ride, smiling and laughing the whole time.
A second run was all we got in before she flopped exhausted on the snow. We had only gone one hour, but it was enough. (Luckily kids five and under are free at Sundance, and anyone can ride the tow rope at no charge, so we didn’t waste any money.)
Unfortunately on our way down to base our skis crossed, entangling the two of us in a mess of skis, boots and legs. The awkward position of being flat on the snow, leg twisted the wrong way under me and a toddler on top was enough to convince me that maybe my doctor, sister, husband and mother were right. Perhaps I shouldn’t try skiing while seven months pregnant, even if it’s on the very flat tow rope area. 
I still consider the afternoon a success as Big E got over his recent trepidation with the tow rope and little g got a taste of how fun skiing can be. If I can pass anything on to my kids it’s how to find joy in this life. For me that involves speeding downhill in the snow. 

For my tips on teaching kids to ski click here. You may also enjoy these posts:

My Best Outdoor Moments of 2014

This year I snowboarded with Olympians, saw the eighth wonder of the world and fulfilled my lifelong wish of seeing a bear in the wild. Our mountain family has done numerous camp outs, hikes, bikerides and other adventures. We’re looking forward to our next adventurer joining our family in March of next year but before we say goodbye to 2014 I wanted to look back at a few of my favorite things. What were your best outdoor moments of the year?

Last winter I loved hitting the slopes with Team Utah Snowboarding and Sundance Resort. Meeting the amazing athletes on the adaptive snowboarding team, as well as the hard core racers on Team Utah’s Boardercross crew inspired me to compete in my first ever banked slalom snowboarding race. It’s great to try new things!

Motherhood had some emotional ups and downs this year as Big E started kindergarten and I found out I was expecting again. Surprise!

Our favorite vacations this year were seeing the jaw dropping wall of dinosaur fossils at Dinosaur National Park, RZRing in Moab, Beach camping in Carpinteria and a couples’ trip to the great state of Alaska. There’s nothing like taking the tots to wild spaces to enjoy all the variety the world has to offer.

As 2014 comes to a close it’s nice to look back and realize that I have spent my time in a way that is important to me. With my family. In the outdoors.

What were your best outdoor moments of the year?