The Awesome Ski Day That Wasn’t So Awesome

I’ve documented many amazing ski trips but in an effort for full disclosure (and to keep things real) New Years Eve day wasn’t one of them.

I generally try to avoid ski resorts over the holidays because they are notoriously crowded. But we wanted to fit a quick daytrip to one of our favorite local resorts, and we figured people would be prepping for New Year’s Eve and wouldn’t have time to go skiing.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

After a string of sub-zero days and snow in Denver, Wednesday was the first bluebird, “balmy” day (if you call 25 degrees balmy). Here’s the great thing about the Front Range resorts: they’re close. Here’s the bad thing about those resorts: they’re close. And pretty much the entire city descended upon them.

We should have known our day was going to implode when Fat Kitty, upon seeing our gear strewn out all over the house, assumed we were ditching him yet again to go on a trip (it’s so difficult to be the needy pet of a wanderlust family). And so he rebelled in the only way he knows: by crapping on Hadley’s blanket she left on the floor.

But, there was hope! Traffic on I-70 is notoriously bad and people have been known to get stuck for hours but it was like the Red Sea parted and we made it in record time.

And then our hope was dashed when we saw the lines in the ski rental office. Jamie and I have our own equipment but I’ve held off on purchasing the kids’ because of they are constantly outgrowing them so we rent. Usually it’s a bit of a hassle but nothing like this:

We waited 20 minutes to get our paperwork processed.

We waited 20 minutes to get fitted for ski boots.

We waited 30 minutes to get fitted for their skis and poles (and that was even after I stood in line early while they were getting their boots).

As we were finally ready to leave, Hadley lost her goggles. Fortunately, they were found at one of the many waiting areas.

I thought that was the end of it but then we began the waiting in the lift lines, which were horrendous. We thought the wait time at the base lift was bad but that was understandable. But then we waited way longer at a very slow triple–so long, in fact, that the ski school students would jump the line, ride to the top and then ski back down before we were even close to getting on the lift. So, imagine how relieved we were to ski down to find another triple and see no lift lines whatsoever.

And then, I kid you not, the lift stopped at every single tower because someone was likely falling getting on or off the lift.

I mean, just look at this boy. He almost fell asleep!

I thought Jamie was ready to combust at that point, Hadley was ornery, Bode was getting worn out from all the waiting (but bless his heart, he is rarely/never moody). And me? Welp, patience is not my virtue.

But then, there was hope! We finally made it to our destination, our favorite lift at the resort with epic intermediate-level runs! The line was long but kudos to that high-speed quad because we were through within 10 minutes and were soon cruising down our favorite run. All the headaches and arguments were forgotten because the sun was shining, the snow was glorious and we love skiing together as a family!

After just two epic runs, hunger struck. Big time. It was well past noon (yes, we’d only done three runs) and we had planned to leave around 2 p.m. to make it back for New Year’s Eve festivities. Jamie wanted to push through a few more runs and then just eat on the way back and leave a bit earlier but Hadley hit the wall.

You do not want to be there when this happens. Trust me.

I didn’t blame her. She’d barely eaten breakfast because she was rushed out the door and standing in line is hard work. So, we decided to grab a burger at the mid-mountain restaurant.

But remember the crowds? Jamie stood in line for 20 minutes and after not moving an inch, abandoned his perch. “Let’s just grab some snacks,” I suggested “we’ll ski a few more runs and then eat on the way home.”

I’m not sure what happened. I mean, what could happen? I gave them Fritos! And Snickers! And Vitamin Water! But like Fat Kitty, Hadley imploded. There were tears, there was drama and despite the fact I wanted to fit in those final few runs in our favorite area, I was done, done, done.

Now, lest you think the whole day was a bust, it wasn’t. Just mostly. But there were a few good things. Remember the snow and sunshine? Gosh dang it, if a bluebird day isn’t my best kind of day.

As we were riding our first lift, I exclaimed, “Blast, I forgot the beads to throw on the trees!”

Bode: “We can just throw our underwear.”

That would have been the other good thing…if only we’d done it.


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