By Merisa Sherman
It’s spring! It’s spring! I can hear the birds beginning to chirp in the mornings as the sun warms my lawn. It’s so nice to watch as the grass on my lawn is getting less crinkly and more green every day. The snow has melted and I think it might be one of those years where I actually see my snowdrops bloom this year. I can already see all of that beautiful black mulch and little green stalks where the daffodils will be.
Spring is coming in the valley and I couldn’t be more excited.
To work on my goggle tan, that is.
To bask in the glory that is OTA while riding the lift, skiing laps on the steeps in the Canyon. Or banging bumps on O.L. while my face fries off on the BMQ. Or just lying on the deck at KBL soaking up the sun while taking in the view. Oh wait, I guess I’ll have to use the Umbrella Bar deck for goggle tanning this spring until they figure out that whole new base lodge thing.
It is simply glorious. I can feel the warmth, soaking in from the sky and reflecting off the white snow. Spring skiing sun is the perfect healing balm to the darkness of winter — the vitamin D literally chaining your attitude with each ride of the chairlift. And the bottom of your bottom, as the black pleather seats hold all that sunshine goodness and, like a hot car, can burn you if your skirt is too short.
Yeah, I said skirt. I also said spring skiing and nothing beats the change of wardrobe from your full Gore-Tex ensemble with a thickly cushioned helmet to the freedom of whatever you feel like wearing that day. I’ve had so many different spring skiing outfits over the years — and I still wear all of them!! From ’90s ski sweaters to my favorite flannels; from ski skirts to full-on dresses or even a tutu with a princess crown. You’re not truly spring skiing if you’re not wearing some ridiculous outfit instead of your serious ski clothes.
With the temperature way over 32 degrees, there’s no chance of getting hypothermia unless you fall in one of those large puddles of melted snow at the base. You’re going to get a goggle tan or just a plain ole regular sun burn. Just so long as you don’t get snow rash. Because falling in spring snow is not fun. It hurts. Badly. Spring snow is so sharp and jagged it cuts your skin so that you end up with this creepy bloody bruise that you can show off at the umbrella bar. Think of it as prep for those nasty bike crashes you’ll be getting all summer long.
I know, I know. It’s barely even the end of March and here we are talking about whether or not the mogul challenge will be free standing or if they’ll be anything skiable at Bear next weekend. The only people still even remotely trying to ski the woods might be certifiably crazy — or just a classic Killington skier like myself. It is the time of year where we ski a trail just because it is open and we question which patroller thought this would be fun. Because we are having a blast dodging the grass and the pine trees and the rocks and just about everything else the spring melt has in store for us and we want to know which patroller to thank!
Because spring skiing is a goggle tanning, trail exploring, bump slamming adventure. If the temps drop below freezing overnight, the trails will be so frozen that you’ll need a dentist to put your teeth back in after they chatter themselves out. And if it doesn’t freeze, you’ll need your powder skis in the morning to make it through the slush. If you’re not sure which it is, just drive on a dirt road. If your shocks break, the ground froze last night and the skiing is gonna suck. If your car gets stuck, the ground is perfect for spring skiing and you’re gonna have a blast — if you can make it to the mountain.
Either way, chances are your goggle tan will start to come in strong over the next few weeks. Think of it as the old school way to contour and highlight your face. Your cheekbones are going to look absolutely gorgeous as the lower half of your face grows darker and darker and you have to wear a hat at all times so that your bright forehead doesn’t blind anyone. That’s how we used to tell who was the most dedicated skier of the bunch. So try it old-school this year. You won’t need to tell people how many days you skied or wear a hat from a club — your goggle tan will do all the talking for you.