Spring may be right around the corner here on Lake Martin, but many Southerners head west to explore some of the best mountains in the world, myself included. There are a lot of Alabamians and Alexander City residents who hit the slopes every year.
It’s surprising any of us find our way to the slopes given that our own January snow day was warm and sunny. Tallapoosa County attracts outdoor enthusiasts from all over the country, and those people are looking for adventure on and off the water.
There is a huge misconception in the South that waterskiing and snow skiing are the same. I did not snow ski as a kid. I went for the first time when I was in my 20s. It went better than anticipated, and I owe all credit to the Montgomery Eastdale Mall ice-skating rink. The movement is more like ice-skating than water skiing.
Learning to ski … so many stories from the first trip to Park City, Utah. I encourage anyone going for the first time to take a lesson. (Do not let your spouse teach you). You will walk away at least knowing how to stop. When in great distress, which I have found myself in before, simply throw your body down and hope for the best.
I think what has kept me going back over the years is the sheer fact that I like the vibe. The scenery is unreal, and the atmosphere is unmatched, along with the the après-ski (a social activity – as at a ski lodge – after a day’s skiing). At the end of the day, when the slopes are starting to close, there is always live music and happy hour.
My least favorite aspect about skiing is the snow lifts. I did not know I had an adult-acquired fear of heights, but I do. I push through it. Now, years later, I am at least able to do some blue runs (intermediate) without crying. Because I would rather go and cry than get left behind on a trip. My FOMO (fear of missing out) has always driven me to be more adventurous than I really am.
Did you know that you could learn to snow ski in Alabama? Cloudmont Ski and Golf Resort is located in Mentone, Alabama. I have not personally been there yet, but I think it sounds awesome and have only heard good things. They blow their own snow. The resort is more 800 acres with outdoor activities and year-round rentals of cabins and chalets. Cloudmont Ski Resort is open seasonally, as weather permits, daily during season from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and nightly from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. I can’t think of a better weekend getaway, and what a great way to introduce kids to skiing. In fact, I should head up there for a good warmup before my trip!
~ Lacey Howell is a recovering English major from Auburn who now lives on Lake Martin, sells real estate, rides horses and loves good wine (but isn’t scared of boxed wine). She is still bothered that Brad and Angelina broke up. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram @LaceyHowell.