Have you ever asked yourself, when getting ready for a business trip, should I bring the ski’s/snowboard? I'm here to tell you, the answer is yes, always pack the skis if you’re going anywhere in the Northeast during the winter
I was confronted with this dilemma when getting ready for a trip from my home in Stowe to Lake Placid. Reasons to not bring the skis included:
- Stowe is my mountain
- It is three extra trips to and from the front door to the car
- I am going for work not for pleasure
All signs seemed like the ski’s would stay leaned up against the wall.
But at the last minute, I had a flashback to the last time I skied Whiteface. I was a junior in high school, it was early March and all I could remember was the mountain being really tall, there was sun and lots of snow. Maybe I would be able to sneak away just for an hour or two. It might be worth it.
So I packed my skis. And I got in my car, headed for the ferry across the frozen Lake Champlain. I passed the mountain before reaching Lake Placid. A quick glance out of the car window and I could see the lifts going up into the clouds. “I’m a blue sky skier” I thought. Resolving, slowly, that my skis would remain stowed.
Sometimes, more often than you anticipate, the universe has other plans.
On my arrival we were able to get a lot of work done. Spread sheets, marketing, and logistics all getting worked out, a tight schedule falling into place. As I was getting to know some of my colleagues on the sales team, Jen piped up and said, “We need to ski together sometime!”
“I brought my skis," I replied. That was all it took.
“Eight-thirty tomorrow we’re going up!” Jen had a seasons pass, and she wasn't going to let me leave without getting in a few hours on the mountain.
I arrived at the base area at 8:15 AM and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The sky was crystal blue, everything was covered in snow, the gondola cars were glistening, there was no one in line, the mountain was huge, the corduroy was untouched, and the temperature was 29F. Jen and I both had the same big smile; this was going to be amazing.
We took the gondola up and out of the windows were the most expansive views. I couldn’t stop looking at the summit caked in snow and the views of the surrounding mountains, and even back home into Vermont!
At the top we put our skis on and we aimed for the Lookout Mountain Triple to bring us to the top of the Wilmington Trail. Jen said this one was her favorite. We were the only people there when we got off the lift and the snow was still untouched. From the top you can see how it has the most perfect pitch with lots of steeper spots, but just enough gentler areas to regroup and take in the scenery. The trail is very long, so long that Jen mentioned to me that she doesn’t like to do it alone, and I was happy I was there. It ended up being one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had on skis - and I’ve spent a lot of time on the slopes over the years.
In all, we took a run off the summit, two times down the Wilmington Trail and two runs off the gondola before calling it a day and heading back into work.
Northeast skiers and riders know how it can be hard to have all of the variables align. Today everything was perfect and it goes to show that you need to be opportunistic to get the best conditions, and always, ALWAYS pack your skis or board. You might just win the jackpot on your next visit to Lake Placid.