This morning was clear and beautiful as I stepped out into the crisp early light. The eastern sun shone brightly over the snow capped peaks and the browning leaves fluttered gently in the breeze. Snow from the last storm still lingered in the cool shade of our yard as the school children had hurried past to catch the bus to school. A typical November day, much like yesterday and likely, just like tomorrow. As the usual morning unfolded around me, I smiled as I loaded the car and called Noah’s school to let them know he would be a few hours late. The Thanksgiving holidays seem too far off in the distance for us to be loading the car with skis, boots and coats. But, that was exactly what I did this (anything but normal) November 10th morning.

Excitedly, we headed towards Big Cottonwood Canyon, slowed only by the occasional school bus taking the unfortunate children to their day of reading, writing and math. Noah and Isaac giggled as they saw their friends waiting on the street corners. I know, I know, I am soooo responsible. Sometimes, just sometimes, higher elevation is just a little more important than higher education and today was one of those days.

How could I let them miss the opening day at Solitude? The boys had been longing for this day ever since the first, wet snowflakes back in October. Well, I couldn’t let them miss it and I couldn’t miss it either!

Due to a few early storms and ample snowmaking, Solitude had plenty of reasons to open three lifts (with another opening this weekend).  Dear Solitude, Thank you! As we stood at the bottom of Moonbeam, I felt the flutter in my heart as I surveyed the lifts cranking, the groomers pushing snow on Sunshine Bowl and the ski school and patrol out in full force. I believe that the 2011/2012 ski season is officially underway!

With our boots clicked in and our helmets on, we were off to a great start. There were no rocks in site as we cruised down beautiful corduroy and enjoyed our skis beneath our feet once again. We skied run after run until, finally, it was time to get the boys back to school (no tears please) for the afternoon…must save those full hooky days for the powder…which is sure to come.

The resort is in great shape for those who are smart enough to come up this weekend for some early pre-season skiing. However, if your like us and need to just excuse yourself from life for one day, I am sure Solitude won’t tell anyone. Friday morning turns anyone?

First Chairlift Ride of the Season, Noah & Rachael Hodson

Noah's First Turns of the Year!

Tear it up Isaac!


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