One of the great things about living in the Berkshires is that it is filled with outdoor activities year round. I literally can see the local ski mountain as I drive home from work. It takes all of 10 minutes to get there from my house. Bousquet was one of the first ski mountains with night skiing thanks to GE being nearby (you know, Edison, light bulbs, etc). One of things we budget is to spend time in the winter skiing. Bousquet is great because you can get a lift ticket for $10 after 3pm, so it’s very affordable once you have the gear. In addition to that, the ski sales that happen around September and October at the local mountains are superb. I got top of the line used equipment for $500 and I think both of my kids were outfitted for under $100. Snow sports are a big part of the culture here and we love it. I have multiple friends who are ski patrolers and it’s just what you do in the long winters we have here. In fact, if you want it to be even more affordable, you either work or volunteer at the mountain part time so that you can get free season passes for your family.
Anyway, it’s the tale end of the season here and I was really struck by a recent trip to the mountain. You see, this ski mountain is very much a beginner mountain. It’s where you go when your kids are little or when you are learning to ski. It does have a couple of trick parks and even though there are 2 other mountains nearby, this one is by far the most affordable to visit. Usually that means it’s loaded with kids. On our last trip up there, I was going down one of the slopes with my 6 year old, when a couple of high school kids came racing down the hill past us. That part wasn’t that unusual. What was interesting was that they zipped by us backwards. These two had probably been on skis since they got out of diapers and it showed. They belonged up on Killington, not Bousquet. However it was a weeknight, and Killington is 2 hours away and a weekend lift ticket there for a teen is $73.
It was such a great lesson for me and to think that I learned it from a cocky teenager. Yeah, so you are an awesome skier and your local mountain is too easy. Instead of snubbing their noses up at it, they start skiing it backwards to make it challenging again. When that becomes too easy, maybe they’ll start one leg skiing or switch to snowboarding or telemarking or doing crazy jumps. Even if their situation wasn’t ideal, they made the absolute most out of living near an affordable ski mountain.
So, how about you? Are you making the most of what you have available to you? Instead of dreaming about how to upgrade what you have today, can you make do with what you have? What is your Bousquet? Tell me about a dream you have and how you make do today. If you’ve dreamed about a garden but don’t have the land, do you at least have the ultimate container garden growing on your doorstep or patio? Do you make the most of your living space? For me, the snow sports are part of what make our long winters here tolerable. Rather than complaining about the cold, we embrace it wish for giant snowstorms. One of my most favorite memories as a child is the cherished snowday. They were some of the best days ever. Your turn. Please share.