Foreward: I was born in Bishop, CA grew up in the Sierras. My parents hiked and camped a bit when I was a kid. Just growing up in Bishop, CA I was exposed to the outdoors quite a bit. I grew up underneath one of the jewels of the Sierras Mount Tom. From 12 to 13 I was in the Boy Scouts and I truly enjoyed the hiking, climbing mountains and camping. As teens do I grew up and grew out of it. In fact, family camping trips became boring as I wanted the vacations like Disney, the beach, and Magic Mountian. The outdoors seemed lame and Los Angeles and surrounding area seemed cool.
When I was 19 I moved to Europe on a military assignment. I fell in love with Europe and being abroad instantly. Europe is a beautiful place with grand cities. The real jewels I found on accident when I had my first trip to the Alps. That first trip I didn’t ski, raft or hike it. Months later I found myself back in the Alps (Mayrhofen?) learning to ski. Yes, we won’t consider that time I went in the 9th-grade skiing in jeans skiing will we? I won’t lie I got hooked to skiing and the Alps simultaneously. Skiing gave me something I had never had before in a sport which was good. at and to boot who can argue with the fresh air, the scenery. Even the drinks and food were wonderful. Nothing like a GluhWein on break during the day or some fondue at night.
I grew up under the Sierras as and yet the Alps held beauty I yet to see anywhere else. My time living in Europe I thoroughly skied the Alps. I skied places like Garmisch, Bad Gastein, Le Deux Alpes, Zermatt, and Engelberg. I was constantly pulling people out of the barracks to head to the Alps or the Black Forest. When they didn’t want to come well I just went on an MWR Outdoor Rec trip without them. I learned you were better to adventure alone or with a group that wanted to do that then get stuck with people that were do-nothings. Let face it it’s better to find new friends along the way because most of the world is boring.
At age 22 when I came back to the US, I missed those European cities so much that I didn’t truly understand what we had here in the US that was so great. Still, even a great drive to a place like Rocky Mountian National Park barely jogged me and let me know what we have that Europe does not. We still have great wilderness here in America. That wilderness is something the overpopulated regions of Europe do not have. The Alps may be great mountains but they are not wilderness. As much as Europeans find themselves to be ecologically sound they do not have the wilderness or wildlife we do. Still while in Colorado I managed to ski greats as Breckenridge, Copper Mountian, Winter Park, Steamboat Springs, Crested Butte, and Monarch.
I made a return to Europe less than optimal financial circumstance and as I still got to see the Alps I never got to use them like I did as a soldier. How I wish I made the Alps a return location, instead of the distractions of nights clubs and pubs across Europe. I still got a few good ski trips in and mostly with my best Australian friend. One location that should not be missed that got added was Soelden Austria.
Upon my second return to the US, I picked the Tahoe area due to an infinite amount of skiing. Heavenly, Squaw Valley, Sierra at Tahoe and Donner Ski Ranch were my favorites, most of them due to their size. Oh, the cruel irony of not having anyone to ski it with me and then to blow out my shoulder skiing. Not understanding the importance of getting a surgery and physical therapy lowered the amount that I used the Tahoe Area. Slowly I rolled into the life of electronica as a promoter in Northern California and Nevada.
I went on to bounce through some overseas jobs some interesting and some not so interesting. As I did once of those gigs was Germany again. I was not so hyped about Europe at this time and more buzzed about the developing world as this had become real travel for me. As I bounced through Europe I finally got to put Chamonix on my list, though skiing Valle Blanche eluded me due to my friends lack of confidence. I also got to take my daughter to Feldberg and Garmisch. As she excelled in Feldberg she did not in Garmisch. I learned the valuable lesson the resort makes all the difference when teaching your kids (and maybe your adult friends). Garmisch is not a resort to teach kids at.
I am in Utah now. I have skied Snowbasin, Powder Mountian, Snowbird, Alta, Brighton, Solitude, and Nordic. There still a few spots for me to get at. I have not hit the Mega Resort Park City. Soon it will be time to do the Epic Pass.
My boy is 3 now. I took him skiing twice last year. Giving him the things I did not have will hopefully give him a taste for being outdoors. I see a change in him when he is outdoors.