“A pair of skis are the ultimate transportation to freedom.”
Like my parents before me, the mountains of Europe are once again calling and another Ski Pilgrimage will take flight in short notice.
Having now skied 50+ years, I’ve had a good run by most standards. I’ve logged numerous miles of smiles on three continents, skied on a few glaciers and have crisscrossed western US ski areas in an Orion Belt like fashion.
I’ll admit to being extremely grateful on two counts… My parents taught me how to ski at a very young age (2 1/2) and I’ve been very fortunate (and lucky) to have avoided serious injury over the last five decades. Two things I don’t take lightly!
As such, the mountains have always provided a special allure to me and the sport of skiing itself offers a unique kinship & perspective on life.
There aren’t many vacations whereby you can fly solo or with a buddy and meet 100+ new friends in one week. You may not know a soul on day #1, but that doesn’t deny the fact everyone at the resort has one thing in common… a passion for skiing. The sport transcends genders, cultures & languages… it’s truly amazing how a common element can start a friendship.
Ski clubs are abundant in the United States and always looking for new members and/or guests to form group trips. Some of the best known clubs aren’t even in the continental US. After all, Europe… and St. Moritz in particular… are credited as the birthplace of skiing (side note: my late father was a member of the oldest ski club in the world… Kandahar Ski Club of Great Britain… a story for another day).
Speaking of clubs, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Club Med. Many will recognize the name as a warm weather, beach oriented vacation company. With a show of hands, how many knew they offered great ski vacations in the European Alps? Precisely. I didn’t fully realize how many destinations they operated as well. In recent years, I’ve been privy to their hospitality in Chamonix, Cervinia and will add St. Moritz to the list this year.
So, whether you’re an avid skier or someone who hasn’t gone in a few years, the faint whisper you may be hearing on a cool winter day may just be the mountains calling your name.
In closing, I’ll leave you with another quote from the legendary Warren Miller…
“If you don’t do it this year, you’ll only be one year older when you do.”