The Last Ski Trip

So we’ve made the most of this year’s ski season, especially given that Eragon was not able to ski until only recently. But we’ve spent the last three days in Breckenridge for an end-of-the-ski-season vacation, and we’ve taken advantage of this late-season skiing to get Eragon out on the slopes a little bit.

We started off our first day in Breckenridge. Nothing too eventful, but we did get Eragon out on skis on a little bunny hill. He also rode his first lift right off the bat since there wasn’t a good area at the bottom to practice on. I used his harness to hold him as he skied next to me, and we made a couple of runs down the easy hill. The snow was very packed and icy in most places, so it wasn’t the best conditions to learn to ski in.

On the second day we went to Vail. Since this was our first time to Vail, we really had no clue as to the best way to navigate the parking, shuttles, and village. We ended up making things way harder on ourselves walking through the village instead of utilizing the shuttle. But we eventually found our way to the little beginner hill and had a very fun day just hanging out there. The skies were clear and sunny, and we shed our coats and gloves for most of the day. There was a tiny sledding hill that we used to teach Eragon how to ski on his own. After he conquered that, I took him up on the lift and let him come down using the harness and straps to keep him from going too fast. He really liked it and kept asking to do it again. We had to wait for Mom to show up as she had been off skiing with the older kids. When she got back, we went up again and Eragon showed her how he skied down. He was very excited to be skiing. Aramis, meanwhile, during some of the down time started to learn how to ski with ski poles, and we did several runs where he, Emma, and Atticus all skied with poles so he could get a good feel for how and when to use them. The snow at Vail was better than at Breckenridge, but still “spring conditions.” Not so much icy as just very slushy. At least it was soft!

Eragon skiing at Vail

On the third day we went back to Breckenridge. In the morning and early afternoon we were treated to a light snowfall which improved conditions a bit. Eragon got his first exposure to riding a “magic carpet.” While Christy helped him practice on the magic carpet, I took the older kids off skiing on some blue and blue/black runs. We then had lunch, after which Christy took the older kids out to ski down Springmeier (blue/green). At the end of the day, I took Emma and Atticus out to do some “blues AND blacks!” They did their first real, honest-to-goodness black diamond run … and without any trepidation. Emma kept saying things like “this is totally wicked!” and “this is awesome!” Atticus started out confidently, but by about the halfway point down the run he was ready to be off of it. But he persevered and made it. They both did the whole run without falling down a single time. I was really proud of them, even more so given that the runs were extremely icy. They were hard for me! Aramis also skied his first blue/black run here (Spruce) and did so without any qualms or hesitation. He just snowplowed straight down it and often shot way ahead of his older siblings.

Eragon hanging out at the lodge at Breckenridge

We ended up the day doing a few more runs when a thunderstorm started moving in. There were several large thunderclaps and a few lightning strikes, and that was enough for us. We rushed down as quickly as possible. By this point, the snow had turned from just snow to a mix of falling snow and ice pellets. The ice pellets gave a pretty good sting on our cheeks as we zipped down to the base. When we finally got to the bottom, they had shut down all of the lifts and gondola due to the lightning, so we had to take the shuttle back down to town.

All in all, it was a memorable and fun ski vacation. Eragon got his first taste of skiing and liked it. Aramis learned how to use ski poles and skied his first blue/black run. And Emma and Atticus tackled their first challenging black diamond.

We have one more day of vacation left in Breck and then next season can’t come soon enough!

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