Stoke was high Saturday morning when we drove up the Brandywine FSR. As we arrived at the first parking lot it was clear that we were not the only ones stoked. The parking lot was almost full. I blame Richard So for getting everyones early season stoke up with his amazing pictures. We decided it would be worth it for us to drive to the end of the road given that we had a toddler and a complete beginner in our party. F was pretty excited about getting her new boots on in the parking lot. She has been skiing around the apartment a lot since we got her new boots and skis a few weeks back. It did take some negotiations to get her out of her princesse dress though, I had to promise that she got to put it back on as soon as we returned to the car.
We walked our skis a few hundred meters from the end of the road before we put them on. The skis did not initially make us any faster, but they did make me very happy. Anita, our beginner skier, got some good skinning practise crossing all the little creeks and river braids in the meadows. Lena, Meredith and I went ahead and had a small run on the South ridge. We had a quick lunch and some playtime before we continued. Lena and Meredith skied to the summit, while Christian, Anita, F and I decided to just ski to the top of the ridge. I felt so happy skiing up, it almost felt unbelievable. The mountains were covered by snow again, the sun were intermittently peaking out, and here I was with my family enjoying it all. F had a nap in the backpack on the way up and some good playtime in the snow on the top. It was clear that she had missed the snow. She was eating it, digging in it and rolling around it. She, too, was so happy.
At the top of the ridge I started wondering if our stoke might have been to high for the ability of our group. It was already 3pm and I knew going down would take us a while. F decided to ski between daddy's legs, so I tried to help out Anita as well as I could. She was doing great, but it was still slow progress. The snow was great at the top, then mediocre, and pretty crusty and tricky towards the bottom. We were pretty happy to see Meredith and Lena on the way down. They took the kid carrier and Anita's backpack, and Lena guided Anita down the easiest route. Christian would side slip in a tele-stand while holding Fenya between his legs and then lift her while doing a kickturn. I think he was pretty happy once she decided to go back in the backpack. From the backpack she was giving good advice to everyone: 'watch out for that hole', 'don't ski in the river', 'there is trees underneath this snow'. My favourite comment though was when Anita fell down and she said: 'She is taking a rest'. We made it to the cars just after dark. I had a big smile on my face as we drove back down the road. F asked me why I was happy and I explained that it was because I had such a good day with her outside. She informed me that she was not happy, because we were leaving the snow behind.