There are few things that can compare to a good weekend on the slopes. Getting outside all day long… carving turns, yard-saleing at high speeds, and cheering on your friends. Then coming back to the condo to sit by the fire, enjoy a beverage or two, and recount the stories late into the evening as the snow piles up on the porch outside.
I just returned from a trip up to Snowshoe, WV with a bunch of good people from Clemson University… my younger sister’s college posse and some other friends of friends. Even though I had not met many of them, there is nothing quite like sharing an experience like that to forge friendships. Our group was evenly split between skiers and snowboarders, and also ran the gamut of skill levels. With 12 people in our crew, everyone had another person to ride with.
I admittedly have been a bit skeptical of whether I could truly enjoy East Coast skiing again after taking a legendary trip out to Alta, Utah last spring, but Snowshoe pleasantly surprised me. During our stay there, the 4,500 foot summit received over 8 inches of fresh powder! In spite of our aching quads and the warmth of our beds, the whole group did a great job of getting up early and being on the mountain every day when the barriers dropped at 9:00 AM.
The highlight of the trip for me was definitely being the first person down the 1.5 mile Western Territory the morning after the majority of the snow fell. As soon as ski patrol took down the rope, we all took off racing for those fresh tracks. I soon found myself with no one in front of me, feeling the flow of wide powder turns on an immaculate slope. Unbelievable!
A quick lunch at the condo was a daily regroup tradition, and everyone was back on the mountain again by 1:30 or 2:00. The Snowshoe slopes proper closed at 4:30 every day, but the Silver Creek resort nearby stayed open until 9:00 PM, and was accessible with the same lift ticket… we did our best to collectively take advantage of all 12 hours of skiing each day!
The final night of the trip was complete with a massive group celebration, and then a rally to the local bar/dance club, The Connection. We were joined on the dance floor by a bunch of folks from all walks in life who share the same passion for snow, and everyone celebrated the best conditions of the year thus far.
As school and work commitments began to loom again, our departure was no less exciting than the rest of our trip, with the snow drifts and icy roads getting two of the three cars in our caravan stuck! Fortunately the strength of our group was able to push both vehicles out, and we drove home in an alternating state of afterglow and exhaustion.
We picked the right weekend, and I can’t wait until next year!