Our teenage son, Mathias, recently experienced his first time snowboarding the slopes of Giant’s Ridge in Biwabik, MN. Being a beginner yet feeling quite confident in his abilities, he decided to forego the “bunny hill” and made a bee line to the top of the run with his more experienced friends. Mathias soon discovered that his Apple watch continuously instructed him to BREATHE when the wind had been knocked out of him after a wicked wipeout.
After listening to Mathias’ downhill adventure stories, Dave and I reflected on our skiing days during our teenage years. Dave grew up skiing Afton Alps, Buck Hill, Highland Hills and Welch Village. He soon became a “shredder” of the slopes; he earned the name “Downhill Dave” by his bros (fellow rippers and shredders).
My experience with skiing was a bit opposite to Dave’s “black diamond carvings”. I was granted the nickname “Crash” because of my not-so-pretty wipeouts. According to snowslang.com I was a Gaper- “A novice skier whose hapless technique makes them stand out.” Yep, that certainly described me. Fortunately, I never broke any bones.
Skiing is a terrific way to enjoy the great Minnesota outdoors and to celebrate the winter season rather than lamenting for the warm days of summer. The clear crisp air that fills the lungs, the beauty of bare trees, contoured hills and the white landscape are all a part of the skiing experience. Yes, I know this winter has not produced a big white winter yet, but we still have many weeks of cold and February/March may bring us a delightful dumping of snow.
Yesterday Dave, the kids and I took a short drive to Welch Village – the nearest ski village to Red Wing, MN (also a favorite in Dave’s youth). A fifteen minute drive from the Candlelight Inn led us to an idyllic setting of a small village nestled amid the high hills and trees of the Cannon River Valley. It is truly a charming place to visit and ski.
With plenty of snow on the hills, Welch Village offers “sixty runs on five distinct ridges overlooking the Cannon River and Belle Creek Valleys.” (welchvillage.com)
A large chalet positioned at the bottom of the runs provide warm and comfortable seating to enjoy food/drink. Large windows give a vantage point to scrutinize the “shredders and gapers”. For even more enjoyment, live music is featured on Saturdays starting at 4pm. http://www.welchvillage.com/
Come and enjoy this charming village and ski the beautiful hills of Welch. If you can’t beat winter, you might as well join it (and maybe even enjoy it too).
David & Eve Baer
Candlelight Inn in Red Wing, Mn