You Get a Car! You Get a Car!

By SkiMum Paula

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Oprah had the world on its feet at the Golden Globes.  The excitement on the morning news shows the following day was infectious.  Even my teenage daughter was howling in a voice an octave lower than her own, “You get a car! You get a car!” while devouring her pancakes.  She was a newborn when the giveaway aired in 2004, but still understands the magic and joy it inspired.  “That must have made the car maker famous,” she continued.  I cocked my head and smiled.  Like other childhood beliefs, I didn’t have the heart to tell her that Pontiac (awesome trivia/HQ question, by the way) went bust just a few years later.  Sometimes, the delight is more important than the detail.

What does this have to do with SkiMums?  Well, some would claim that many Wednesday mornings with fellow Mums feel like an episode of Oprah’s eponymous show.  Smart, active women sharing the slopes with other fascinating (and often, very funny) women.  It’s unclear whether it’s a girl power vibe, an adrenaline rush or the feeling of playing hooky, but Mums describe feeling electrified, inspired or just themselves on Wednesdays. “Ski therapy”?  Perhaps.  More likely, Mums are giving themselves a moment to recharge in order to charge ahead.

SkiMums also get FREE stuff.  Sadly, not cars.  The Bird, in particular, does this not because Mums are cheap (although we do love a great deal); it recognizes how important and influential we are.  Mums buy a lot of season passes, lessons, camps, ski team equipment, condos, spa packages, dinners and more.  We post pictures on social media influencing more people all over the world to discover the fun in our backyard.  When some suggested several years ago that Snowbird was too advanced and not as appealing to women, it started providing SkiMums group lessons to make sure we felt confident on the front and back of Hidden Peak.  Mountain School still sends its best women instructors each January to get intermediate-to-advanced SkiMums skiers — and, for the first time, snowboarders — to tackle different aspects of this unique terrain.  The Bird has also invited some daring Mums (read: pretty fast skiers on pretty dark runs) to ski Fresh Tracks, going up the Tram with Ski Patrol at 7:30am to do laps before the public opening.  In the summer, SkiMums have had the best deals on Snowbird’s All-Women Mountain Bike Camp which, we like to believe, they created because of clamoring by the Mums (“Teach us how to ride The Wasatch Crest and Big Mountain Trail!”).

This is what I know is true: SkiMums started as and remains a community, not a club, made up of incredible Wasatch Women who share a passion for the outdoors and want to share that feeling with others.  We laugh and cheer and, often, discover something new.  Such delight will get you much farther than any car.

 

Top 5 Things to Splurge on at Snowbird

If I found some spare change in the bottom of the dryer, what would I do with it? Hmmm, that’s a tough one. Something ski-related, definitely.  Let’s put aside a shopping spree at Cliff Sports (I do love my Arc’teryx coat and fringed Astis mittens) or opening a great Bordeaux at Aerie. Here are five. Some I’ve done, some are on my Snowbird Bucket List—

  • A day on the Snowcat Skiing for Nature – hands down. At $395 for a half-day adventure, I still think it’s the best bang for the buck anywhere on the mountain. Starting with breakfast at The Forklift (included), Snowbird Ski Patrol prepares you for your side-country outing, straps you with a beacon and takes you up and over into Mineral Basin where you catch your ride. The rest is a blur and the most fun, best skiing ever. I’ve compared it to skiing in a snow globe – quiet, magical. A half-day is plenty. Your legs will be shot. Your memories will last forever.
  • Mountain School Women’s Camp with Mermer Blakeslee. Mountain School does several ski camps designed for women, but this is the one I’ve always wanted to attend (hint, hint). It’s a four-day camp led by professional skier and author, Mermer Blakeslee. She focuses on fear, the type that keeps us from accomplishing things on and off the mountain and fun, the type that brings us back. At $784 for four entire days, it’s cheaper than therapy and much more pleasurable. The time off from work, family, life is the big price but one I know would be worth it.
  • A day with a Backcountry Guide. I once tried buying all the gear necessary for my hubby to backcountry ski (shovel, probe, beacon, avalanche airbag, etc.) and scared myself so badly that I put it all back on the shelves. The avalanche dangers in the backcountry are real, but they are greatly reduced by going with someone who understands the terrain and risks. If you’ve ever skied a powder day, you get the bug and want more, especially if it comes with fresh tracks all the way down. That’s the appeal of backcountry. Prices vary but, for this exercise, I’m not concerned.
  • A weekend stay on the Spa Level of Cliff Lodge. For a modest upgrade, you can enjoy a spacious room and spa access on the top floor of the Cliff Lodge at Snowbird. If a day in Mineral Basin wasn’t enough, then adding a massage and then a dip in the roof top hot top will satisfy the pickiest guest. It’s one of the best views at any ski resort, and if the full moon is out, you won’t be the only one to howl. Prices vary depending on room and services.
  • Ok, I have to admit that my Preferred Parking Pass is definitely a splurge that I have come to love. Front row parking at the Bird means I can save my legs for the mountain and almost ski into my car at the end of the day. $249