Snow Sunday: Vacation Saturdays

Snow Sunday: Vacation Saturdays

IMG_0490 For the Monday through Friday working stiffs in Telluride (yes there are 9 to 5ers even in Disneyland), Saturday is coveted. A day to get on the hill. With two kids, it is a day of logistics and juggling. “What shift do you have?” is a common question at school pick up on Friday, or in Saturday morning text messages. One parent hangs with the kids while the other skis “up top,” then the switch occurs.

We went through this routine happily. It’s all we knew, and we were grateful to get out there at all.  And before we knew it, our eldest was in the Telluride Ski Club’s Gravity program. She skied with her peers and a coach from 9:30am to 3:00pm most Saturdays throughout the season. We were halfway there. We had one on the Mountain with the team, but still had the younger one and continued with our Saturday shifts.

But this year, when the youngest turned four, something utterly magical happened. It’s called Development Squad.

Development Squad is eight Saturdays of ski school for local kids throughout the season. You drop off your four-, five- or six- year- old at 10:00 am and pick them up at 3:15 pm.  Now both kids are skiing with instructors every Saturday. This literally means that a new cohort of parents have graduated from Saturday shifts and are now roaming free, together, all over the Mountain, without kids, from 10:00 am to 3:15 pm, eight Saturdays this season.

Vacation Saturdays.

For those five hours, it’s almost like going back in time 15 years. Back to our twenties, when we skied full days with the person we were dating and who many of us are now married to. Some of us fell in love on Lift Nine or Mak’m — or more likely at Leimgruber’s or the Swede Finn Hall after skiing.

On these Saturdays, we get to ski together in a parent posse. We tell stories on the lifts, catch up on kids and work, but more importantly talk about the snow, the conditions and the skiing. Effortlessly, we become ski bums again.

When our legs get tired, we inevitably still have 30 minutes until pick up, and we do what we haven’t had the time to do since we had kids — or the money to do when we were in our 20s. We have a beer on the Mountain. Suddenly, going to Bon Vivant or Alpino Vino is a possibility. We soak in the view that has been the backdrop for our commutes to work, school pick ups, and sports drop offs all week. We breathe. We laugh. And, we find out little Mountain secrets we never knew, like Bon Vivant offers a creamy, dark beer called Genessee to locals for $3.

IMG_3096As the afternoon nears its end and the clock strikes 3:00, it’s like midnight for Cinderella. We rush to pick up our kids at the Ski Club at the top of Lift 7, and then hurry down to the Village for our youngest at 3:15. We’re once again doting parents asking our four year olds’ coaches how they did and telling our little ones how proud we are of them. We’re excited to see them, to see their love for skiing and at the prospect of a Sunday family ski day. We realize, it’s only a matter of time before we won’t be able to keep up with them and we savor the last run down the Telluride Trail or North Chute back to town.

But we also savor our Saturdays and the prospect that in a week, we’ll get Vacation Saturday all over again.





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