By Ann Schissler – It happens every ski season. You know, that bittersweet feeling you have when you’ve taken the final run of the season. Mine was just a few days ago.
My husband David and I made the drive up to one of our favorite day trip destinations, Mount Sunapee in New Hampshire. We’d been in touch with an old friend we hadn’t seen in over 20 years, a guy named Bill Moreen (right), and made plans to ski together. We were really looking forward to our reunion. The irony here is that we’ve been skiing Sunapee since we moved back east from Colorado in 1991. Bill Moreen has worked as a lift operator on the Sunapee Express chair for the last 8 years! We had a good laugh thinking about how many times we must have waved to him at the top of the mountain as we got off the chair and getting a wave in return, never recognizing each other. I guess it’s not that strange considering how you look when skiing, all tucked in with your helmet, goggles, neck warmer over your nose and mouth and ski jacket zipped up to your chin. The lift operators are usually sitting behind tinted glass, in the glare of the sun or murk of the clouds and bundled up pretty well themselves. Not to mention the fact that you’re concentrating on getting off the chair without incident in a matter of seconds. Still, how random to have our paths cross any number of times and not connected.
When we finally did connect we ended up having a wonderful time sharing a bunch of runs together on
really good spring conditions. It was a cold day for late March and we were treated by some peeks of the sun, but for the most part, it felt like winter. The surface was firm at the summit with soft conditions on the lower mountain. Very skiable. As we “dropped in” to Blast Off, we all commented on how good the snow was for so late in the season. When the day was done and the legs were spent, everyone was wearing smiles and agreed to spend more time skiing together.
There was a lot of catching up to do on 20 years of living. We reminisced about mutual friends, talked about our children, our jobs, houses. We also had plenty of stories about ski trips we’ve taken, our favorite areas, and the trails and experiences we share. The discussions really highlighted the many things we share in common. Loving groomed cruisers, wide open uncrowded trails, powder and packed powder. Not crazy about skiing the trees, or bumps or on weekends. Agreeing that we are all at the age where “we have been there and done that” and to quote another good friend of mine, “know what we like and like what we know.”
Bill was offered an invitation to visit us here on the Cape this summer. Hopefully he’ll take us up on it. But if that doesn’t happen I know I’ll be seeing him next ski season. I know where he’s going to be every Monday and Tuesday. In the lift shack at the top of the Sunapee Express. Be sure to wave to Bill as you ski off the lift.