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On First-Time Skiing

The MONOCLE Mantra

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Repeat after me:

A good day is spent skiing, and a day of skiing is good.

I stumbled upon that mantra a few years ago, and it has served me well ever since. There are a few other takeaways from my first trip, years ago, which stick with me to this day. But before I get there, let me tell you more about my very first ski vacation.

Our plan was to grab a couple of townhouses at Canaan Valley, in West Virginia. Canaan Valley is federally-designated as a national natural landmark with a protected state park in the Allegheny Mountains – and contains the second largest inland wetland area in the United States.

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I wonder what’s over that ridge? And I wonder…how do I get off this thing?

Skiing and development of the terrain began as early as the 1950s, but didn’t really get underway until the 70s. Canaan, therefore, has more of a vintage feel than some of the newer and renovated resorts that you’d find in the Rockies. This is a family-friendly, out for a good time, “Wild, Wonderful West Virginia” type of place.

As for resort stats, were talking about a modest regional ski resort: vertical drop is about 850 feet, traversed by 47 slopes and trails. That makes it considerably smaller than Snowshoe Mountain, but it is also considerably closer to, say, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore. Pricing is totes reasonable: $37 daily lift tickets for 2016-17, and newly announced $550 full price season passes for 2017-18.

“A good day is spent skiing, and a day of skiing is good.”

All skiing is fun, and these local resorts are a great way to introduce newcomers to the sport. I know some readers will be more accustomed to higher elevations and longer runs. Your good fortune is an excellent opportunity to show your friends and family the joys of skiing. These local places in the East are the same in that regard.

A good day is spent skiing, and a day of skiing is good.  That’s the first thing I’ve learned about skiing.  I have to admit, I was terrible on those first attempts — and if you buy me a beer I’ll show you the scars.  But both at the time and with years of reflection behind me, I think those first runs were great.  After all a day of skiing is good.  And I had just spent several days skiing.

My next post will go over some of the other lessons I (humbly?) learned from my first time on the slopes.

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