by Jenn Gagner
At a recent FHR meeting, it was pointed out how awesome it was to be surrounded by a community of people who are up for crazy adventures – often, the crazier the better.
The germ of this idea was planted last year by Louis and Laura – what about an FHR Ski Trip, utilizing the amazing deal provided by Alpine Zone, up to Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine? It was an amazing time, and pretty much everyone who went last year wanted to replicate the experience this year.
As usual, once the ball got rolling in December we quickly had 16 people interested in the trip. Together, we were able to book three condos in the same building, directly at the bottom of the ski slope. When the weekend arrived, everyone filed in to their designated carpool and headed up to the mountain; a 4 hour drive through the Maine hinterlands. We had a pretty varied start time from Boston, so we arrived between 8pm – 1am on Friday, and everyone went to bed in anticipation of a long day of skiing in the morning.
Each condo did breakfast on their own, but as is expected at any FHR event, there was a plentiful amount of healthy and delicious food to share. We cracked multiple jokes about being in Maine, the likelihood of being attacked by moose, and spoke of a local urban legend about a man who was plowed into a snowdrift and not discovered until spring. After bundling up, those going downhill skiing met at the main lodge for the first runs. The conditions were amazing – though it was cold. There was plenty of snow on all the runs, and lines at the lift were short. It was sunny with no clouds; from the summit you could see for days. We quickly split up into teams based on desired trails, with the most intrepid going after some bumpy mogel runs and some of us deciding to play it a bit more conservatively. No attempts to break the landspeed record this year, though! We met for lunch back at the condo and made soup & sandwiches before heading back out for round 2, skiing right up until the lift closed. Cross-country also seemed to have a great time at the beautiful Outdoor Center at Sugarloaf.
Everyone came in and warmed up a little, and then in usual FHR style a group went off to the gym to get their run on after skiing (or in Owen’s case, after cross country skiing and a three hour bike ride). A few of the ladies decided to take full advantage of the aprés ski opportunities offered by Alpine Zone and “chatted up a few hot guys at the bar,” to the general approval of the entire group. Those of us who had decided to take it a little easy, or who had already had a beer, stuck around the condo and were treated to an amazing yoga class led by Lexi. A small but greatly appreciated team, spear-headed by Aleta, started dinner in the kitchen while we got our savasana on.
In the end, everyone crowded into one of the condos for an amazing dinner of moroccan stew, couscous, kale salad, french bread, and roasted veggies, followed by the most addicting gluten-free cookies and brownies. Sipping wine, mulled cider and Bailey’s hot chocolate while sitting around and chatting about running, foam rolling, and life with the FHR crew made for an overall phenomenal evening.
The next morning, the forecasted snow was making everyone a bit antsy about getting back to Boston, and it was generally agreed that leaving by at least noon was a good idea. One car left after breakfast, and in usual FHR fashion everyone pitched in to help clean out the condos and pack up cars (in some cases, with bikes and bike trainers and skis) before heading out to the slope. In particular, the Jill-Owen team was determined to summit Burnt Mountain by snow-shoe after being foiled in their attempt last year, so we sent them off with best wishes. Heading out to the slopes, it was once again perfect conditions with a light snow falling. Everyone called it quits right around noon as the snow was already noticeably starting to pick up. Most people made it over to the Outdoor Center and had a relaxed sandwich (best egg sandwich ever!) and chat before getting on the road back to Boston.
The last part – the drive through the blizzard – was a bit harrowing. The turnpike speed limit was restricted to 45 mph, and we saw multiple pile-ups along the way. Still, everyone returned home safe and sound, and checked in with the group upon arrival. Mission accomplished.
Once again, FHR came through for an amazing time – like-minded people who are always up for adventure, but will probably want to eat healthy (+ amazing cookies) and get to bed at a decent hour so they can do it all again the next day. I love planning trips with FHR, and look forward to many events in the future with such awesome people! Thanks to all who attended and we’ll definitely have to make some plans for next year as well!