I have to say I’m proud of myself for researching, organizing, prepping, and executing a solo ski trip to Squaw Valley yesterday that went off beautifully. I love it when a plan comes together.
Getting back to the slopes was one of my bucket list things for 2020. But I had a lot of obstacles to clear first:
- figuring out how to do it solo
- not having a car
- not having any ski clothing or gear
Most importantly, I had not really skiied since my teens. So I had no idea how much I would remember or would have to re-learn in my 50s. But goddammit, I wasn’t going to let another ski season pass without at least giving it a go!
Key to the success of my mission was finding a ride there. Fortunately, in the Bay Area we have Sports Basement.
Our local sporting goods store Sports Basement offers reasonably priced day trips to Squaw Valley and other resorts that includes virtually everything you could want:
- a fancy bus ride with wifi and power outlets,
- discounted lift tickets,
- gear rentals loaded on and off the bus for you,
- breakfast in the morning,
- beer and snacks at the end of the day,
- two knowledgeable, friendly staff on the bus to guide you and answer questions.
They made everything super easy, even for a Nervous Nellie like me. (I know this sounds like an ad, but it’s true.)
On Saturday morning at 5:20am, I scooted over to my local Sports Basement, where friendly staffers Sam and Patrick were waiting for me with bagels and coffee. By 9:30am, I was on the slopes at Squaw Valley!
That first run down a bunny slope was so exhilarating as I waited to see what my body remembered. I felt a rush of relief as muscle memory kicked in, and I remembered how to snow plow, turn, and slide into a stop. Woo hoo! I was skiing!
By the end of the day, I was cruising down intermediate runs at a moderate pace, with only a few “oh shit!” moments and non-major falls. The first time I did the long Mountain Run from the top of the peak to the main resort, it felt a little scary and occasionally nerve-wracking. For my final Mountain Run, I was able to take in the beauty of the mountain, appreciate all the incredible skiers and snow-boarders zooming around me, and enjoy all the little challenges along the way.
I was abuzz all the way back to the bus, and then immediately fell asleep.
Special thanks to my good friend Gilles for hooking me up with the dopest ski clothing from his closet. It honestly made a difference to feel good and look good among the Squallywood ski and snowboard bums!