Home…I mean…Skiing for the Holidays

Home for the holidays. It’s what people do (there’s even a song about it). It’s what I have done my whole life. Growing up my Mom would make sure we celebrated Christmas at our house then we trekked to Pittsburgh to visit the rest of the family. For the past 19 years I celebrated with my daughter and my family. For seventeen of those years I had to share the babe with her father. For seventeen years I’ve been a bit of a grinch.

Home for the holidays. It’s not what we did this year. My daughter and I headed to Canada for a ski trip with another family. It was skiing for the holidays this year. This year I was not a grinch. I was so happy, skiing and with my daughter for the Christmas week. The grinch in me disappeared. I like the holidays again.

We had a great time at Mont Tremblant in Quebec. The resort is gorgeous and with the French being the language, we felt like we were transported to a small village in France.

Mont Tremblant took advantage of the below freezing temps and made snow everyday. The temperature was great for snowmaking and it meant we skied in below freezing temps. Brrrr With blue skies and lots of layers we had so much fun!!!!

The mountain has a variety of levels and nice long slopes. There is a gondola to take to the top along with some big lifts. The gondola was a nice ride to take the chill off.

The staff is friendly and helpful. The village is filled with shops and restaurants. You must have the poutine and beaver tails. I definitely want to go back…after I reach my 50 in 50 challenge of course.

Skiing for the holidays was something new, there are some sacrifices like not seeing the whole family. I missed seeing the church decorated and singing Joy to the World. Even without seeing the family, our time away was surprisingly guilt free (says a woman brought up Catholic 😊). We lived in the moment. We thought about the meaning of Christmas while skiing and Mont Tremblant provided the most beautiful backdrop. We even sang Christmas carols on the chairlifts (your welcome fellow skiers). I recommend skiing for the holidays. I’m sure we will be slopeside in future Decembers.

So I continue my quest for 50 new slopes…

Mountains to go in challenge: 17

Days on snow 18/19 season: 6

Ski Social

Skiing may be an individual sport but is a social activity. Afterall, there is a ski term that is all about socializing – apres ski!!

Most chair lifts hold more than one person and the rides up can be almost as fun as the trips down (almost). Ski lifts are a great place to meet people, it can be like speed dating without the romance (or if you are lucky, maybe a little romance). I met several people who were real ski bums back in the 70’s and 80’s. I met a man who decided to learn to ski at 75 years old and he was 85 when we chatted. I met a woman who was on the Olympic team. I have met some memorable people over the years. I have also learned useful tidbits from locals.

If you are trying out a new slope, ask your lift-mates about the local scene. Usually locals are happy to talk about their town’s history, nightlife, social scene, etc. I actually skied on the Appalachian Trail at one mountain (thanks to a lift mate telling me about it). If you are skiing your mountain, share your local hot spots and interesting facts with visitors.

Over the years I have had my winter friends and my summer friends. My non-skiing friends know that they won’t see me as much in the winter. My love of skiing has been the reason for past breakups with men (or boys in my way past). They didn’t understand why I would choose to go ski over spending time with them. My last longish relationship started during ski season but I made him keep it a secret for the season. My rational…, no man ever lasted a ski season and I didn’t want our mutual friends to feel uncomfortable when we ended it.

As I get older I am valuing all of my friendships. My non-winter friends may not see me as much but I do make more of an effort to spend time with them. Of course this season I am on a mission to get my last 18 slopes in so I will be traveling a little more than usual. I have had offers from friends to visit and hit a few slopes near their homes, other friends offered their ski homes. I am in awe of the kindness!!

I have been skiing for forty years and I have been surrounded by a community of friends over those years. I became a single mom 17 years ago when the babe was 2 years old. My skiing community surrounded us with so much love and support. My daughter grew up knowing that the mountains are a fun, safe place. She could see my peace when we arrived at the mountain and she would become calm herself. This community has given me strength and has helped me through some times that traveling alone through life would have been a little tough.