Happy Father's Day Snowpapas
Some of my earliest childhood memories are of skiing. My dad was a high school teacher in a very small town in Montana, which meant he was also the track and cross country coach, basketball referee and ski bus driver. He made a deal with the principal that he would drive the ski bus the 60 minutes roundtrip to Bridger Bowl if his four girls (ages 10, 9, 5 and 3 at the time) could ride with him and ski for free. It was a fair deal.
Every weekend was spent on the mountain, usually with my sisters and me trying to keep up with our dad. None of us ever took “proper” lessons instead we were “led” down the mountain by our father, one after another, just like good little ducklings. On powder days our dad would lovingly allow us to ski on our own all day long, so he could go get some real turns.
A few years later we moved from Montana to Colorado. My baby sister had joined the family by this time (yes, five girls) and our commute to the mountains was a bit longer. Every Saturday morning my dad would come into our rooms singing “Steht Auf. Steht Auf.” which means “get up” in German. We would kick and scream but he would always reply with “The bus leaves at 6.” Of course, you never wanted to miss the bus or a day of skiing.
The best day of my young life was on a powder day at Steamboat. Instead of ditching me to catch powder turns my dad led me down the mountain, teaching me the “dance with the mountain, turn after turn, until you reach the bottom.”
In over 30 years of skiing, I have yet to take a lesson from anyone other than my dad. Fortunately, my dad is now a ski instructor at Park City Mountain Resort, which means I have now taken a proper lesson.
Thanks to my Snowpapa for instilling in me the passion for the sport, I am a Snowmama. I can’t wait for my Snowpapa to teach my oldest son to ski next season.
Happy Father’s Day to all of the wonderful Snowpapas! I want to hear in the comments below how your Snowpapa shared his love of the sport with you?
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