By James Lummis
Last spring break I spent two great days with my boys – not a guys weekend with friends from college — but with my two high school age sons. Mom was skiing elsewhere (she claims it was a meeting), so off to Aspen Snowmass we went. En route, one boy worked the smartphone, finding the best lodging deal in town, while the other did the driving.
Skiing with my sons has always been an affirming experience. It has been tons of fun watching them improve over the years. As they get stronger, they push me to ski faster and harder so that I dont hold them up. They are now better skiers than their old man.
Snowmass has always been a great go-to mountain for our family because of the size and diversity of the skiable terrain. The mountain has served our family well, at every skill level, with our favorite spots now off the Cirque, High Alpine and Hanging Valley.
The weekend of our boys trip, there was new snow and perhaps I got a little greedy.Riding the Village Express at the end of the day, I saw some soft, unskied lines and suggested we take them. Well, it turns out the route was closed and I got to have a discussion with a ski patroller while the boys pointed at me as the bad influence.
The next day, while lunching at Gwynns High Alpine, I ran into a friend and client who is a 3rd generation Roaring Fork native and lifelong Aspen Snowmass skier. After introductions of our respective families, I asked Mike to recommend a line through Hanging Valley. He gave perfect instructions to a new route we had never taken. The snow was great, the pitch was steep and there were relatively few tracks. It was neat to show my sons that I had friends who know where to get the gnar.
Reflecting back on this weekend, my youngest son said that one of the best parts about the just the boys trip, was that I was less stressed than normal. As I thought about this, I realized that with just one parent along, I could focus my attention on my sons. When my wife is along, our attention is more divided. Plus, sometimes two parents get in the way of each other, and sometimes kids play their parents off one another.
So, heres to skiing with your family and when you get the chance to ski just with your kids, take it. Go forth and rip! Share an aprs of hot chocolate, cookies, and chips. Take a hot tub, find a pizza joint (White House in Carbondale is excellent), get dessert and laugh a lot.
You will always remember your boys (or girls) trip.
James Lummis, is a Grand Junction-based skier, road biker, hiker, husband, dad and insurance agent, in that general order. Has been skiing with his best friend for 30 seasons and cant believe she is his wife!