This winter I have had some amazing opportunities when it comes to winter sports. Thanks to a great friend group that came together for a snowboarding trip and a husband that already had a passion for the sport, I have now snowboarded for the second and third time ever and I do not want to stop!…which sucks because it is the end of the season, BUT WOOOO SNOWBOARDING!
Not a lot of people know this about my college experience, but in my senior year of college I learned that I was in a ”short major” and that while I had taken all my required credits, I needed to fluff my curriculum with electives. This lead to me taking over 20 credits my last semester of college and included a spring break snowboarding lesson! While this still seems like a joke to me, it was a great opportunity to get away for spring break and learn a new skill that I had hoped to fester into a hobby.
Charlie had let me borrow his childhood board and boots to help me lessen the financial sting of the trip, but they were definitely a little small on me. The lesson was great and I was decently successful at carving, falling, and getting up again, but after a week on the hill I was discouraged by my bruises and aches. Between rental costs, moving to SoCal (and not venturing up the mountains), and just being busy with other adventures, that lesson was my first and last snowboarding experience until 2022.
When Charlie told me that some friends wanted to head north to the UP to shred the gnar, I was in! This avalanched (not literally) into buying new winter snowboarding gear, GREAT times, and a new appreciation for snowboarding.
First, I want to share the snow gear I got because a) you know I cannot resist a good gear list and b) your girl is always looking for the best bang for her buck and I think I found it in the jacket and snow pants I chose!
For my outer layers I wore a MOERDENG ski jacket (in pink camo, duh) and Arctix womens bibs (PINK) snow pants. Plus my Lisa Frank mittens Charlie got me for our first valentines day…they are old but stylish! I get so many compliments on those mittens!
I was on the slopes for under $150 with a new jacket and snow pants!
I also wore a good amount of merino wool. I am obsessed with merino wool. This means I wore a merino buff, smart wool merino socks, and smart wool merino leggings that I bought at the ski lodge. I was not planning on buying the leggings, but they were a great price compared to REI and DANG ARE THEY WARM!
My gear was great and kept me warm when used correctly. When I started pulling my buff up and down over my mouth, the moisture from breathing on it would freeze, making it very uncomfortable. Same for my goggles; they were awesome but condensation froze on them if I pulled them on and off my face. I am mentioning this to hopefully save a few people from the same fate, because once your gear starts freezing up it becomes useless for its intended purpose.
For these trips I rented my gear. While continuing this sport and renting every single time would become expensive, it just made sense to considering we were not sure if snowboarding was something I would continue to do. I have spent some time looking around for used gear now, but renting just made sense for the time being!
Once geared up, our first snowboarding trip of the season was at Ski Brule. From what I understand, this was better than any hills in our native southeast Michigan and I loved it! Ski Brule is family owned and I hope that that family and the locals are proud of this establishment. Ski Brule was so much fun and everyone that works there seems friendly and knowledgeable. However, even if the gnar was not gnarly (it was), we were up there with the best people and there was no way not to enjoy ourselves!
My second snowboarding adventure this year was a quick day-trip to Mt. Holly. I had entirely too much fun even after my rage-quitting breaks and Charlie took the above video of my progress! Since this last trip I have been acquiring new-to-me snowboarding gear, joining snowboarding groups on facebook, and in general consuming snowboarding content! I am falling in love with this sport and actually sad the season is already over in lower Michigan!
What about you, what are your favorite things to do in the winter? Do you snowboard or ski? Let me know in the comments!