We’ve had a slow, dry start to winter here in the southern Rockies. So dry that doomsday scenarios began to creep in. Was winter dying? Would it ever snow again? Would our kids forget what skiing is? Would we burn through a whole winter without using a single day of our season passes? Then the storm track began to set up and dumped 16 inches in the Sangre de Cristos in a day. Things were looking hopeful, but when it comes to snow, you can’t be too superstitious. So we did the only natural thing to ensure it keeps snowing in New Mexico: Ten days before Christmas, we drove north to ski in Colorado.
Usually when we go north, we stay south: Telluride, Crested Butte, Wolf Creek. But this time we set our course for Vail and Beaver Creek, figuring that in iffy conditions, Colorado’s largest resorts would have more off-snow options to keep us and our daughters, ages two and four, entertained. As luck would have it, we wouldn’t need to hedge our bets. On the morning we left, a storm roared in from Arizona, coating northern New Mexico in thick, wet snow, while a second system made aim for the Vail Valley, where it would storm—and we would play—for three days straight.