I wish I had checked to weather prior to last weekend. As someone who is constantly looking at my On the Snow app the week prior to any ski trip, not knowing that it was going to be in the 50's on Saturday while skiing is a fail of epic proportions. Not really sure what happened there, but needless to say, I was unprepared. Spring skiing over President's Weekend...who knew? Last year at this time it was anywhere between negative 8 and negative 20 at the mountain and we were taking frequent breaks just to prevent frostbite. The stark change in temperature, despite being bit disconcerting (so much for global warming being a hoax), was a welcome surprise and one my friends and family relished.
For my two youngest daughters who took their first ski lessons this scenario couldn't have been better. The weather kept them from being too cold as they spent a large majority of their day outside actually learning to ski. However, the extended time outside did not come at the detriment of missing out on the best part of ski school, the hot chocolate. There was still plenty of that. Warm weather, learning to ski and hot chocolate, how could that possibly be bad? The extra time spent on the hill left them both fairly proficient by the end of the day and they were all smiles at pickup, ready and waiting for their very first après ski party.
My oldest daughter was similarly also psyched to be skiing in the spring conditions for the first time. Going JWO (jacket wide open) from the start she felt very cool and skied with an elevated confidence. So much so that she successfully took on her first ever black diamond. Leaving her psyched for the remainder of the day, earning her pizza and Shirley Temples at après.
For my wife and I, the skiing and riding was it's usual blast enhanced by the weather and outdoor après ski. The dumping of snow from the previous week turned into more of a necessity than ever thanks to this warm spell. Without it, I am not so sure Belleayre would have survived the weekend. The conditions, although a bit sticky and soft, made the runs super chargeable and fun leaving us feeling that we earned our apres. Skiing in my All About Après First Tracks bloody Mary T-shirt by the end of the day was ideal since that is what I had for lunch while handing outside on the deck at the Groomer's Pub.
Basking in the warmth of the sun, scoping the mountain for Jerry while sharing cocktails, made that first beer taste even better. Yes, it was tough to get back out there. The early après vibe was rocking, aided by the DJ they had set up for the holiday weekend, but there were turns to be had and we knew we would be back to this fun little spot in a couple of hours.
Overall, the trip was another huge success. Although we were highly unprepared, the surprise warm weather made the day fun for all. The skiing was a blast, the girls loved ski school and who doesn't love a good après ski party outdoors, even if it is President's Weekend.