Every day, the first email I open is the Sun Valley Ski Report. I scan the information, noting groomed runs, the temperature on top (any inversion?) and any new snow. For the past few weeks, I have also noticed an invitation at the top of each report, an invitation to “Claim My Run.”
I finally focused on this over the weekend. Claim My Run? I re-read the latest email.
“Win a brand new GoPro HERO 3 Black Edition. Just “claim” your run on Baldy or Dollar by posting original, creative POV video on our video mountain map. http://www.sunvalley.com/mountain/maps/
We’ll judge the entries based on number of views and awesomeness of the video. You only have until the end of February – may the best video win!”
Compelling! There was a prize! For doing what I love! How had I missed this? So on Sunday, I met my eight-year-old son and enthusiastically asked him to come claim a run with me. We actually “have” a run: Sunnyside. Two years ago, when he was only six, we were skiing from the bottom of College over to Olympic when he spied Sunnyside, falling steeply under the old lift off of the cat track. “Do you want to do this?” I asked a little skeptically. Sunnyside was full of big, big bumps covered with some new powder and he was a little, little guy. “Yes!” he responded. “It will be my first black diamond!”
Off we went, over the steep lip and into the run. I am not exaggerating when I say it took about 20 minutes to ski Sunnyside that first time. There was a lot of time out for laughter, and even more for picking up equipment, ejected over the slope during some epic falls (his and mine). On Sunnyside, Matthew learned the term, “yard sale!” Thus, this old-school expert run on Baldy became ours.
This weekend, though, after 4 ½ hours of training with the Development Team of the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, Matthew was not all that enthusiastic about skiing Sunnyside with his mother. He was tired. But he is a sweet guy so he agreed to come keep me company. Armed with a helmet cam that he received as a gift a few years ago, I was ready to Claim Our Run. We rode the lift to the top with Matthew filling me in on all the big fun he had on ski team. It snowed about six inches on Saturday, so the kids found every pocket of powder on the mountain.
We skied down College, Matthew first. I followed. He was skiing like a local kid – nice finished turns, totally relaxed. (for the record, I want a re-do and I want to grow up in Sun Valley). At the top of Sunnyside, I barely had the chance to push the record button on the camera, before Matthew tipped over the edge into the bumps. Down he went, completely nonplussed. This time, he was down the run in a matter of minutes with me chasing him down – badly.
Imagine my disappointment when I got home to upload the video just to find the camera either hadn’t been on, or had a dead battery, or … ? Technically speaking, I had blown it!
But even without the video, it was great to be reminded to Claim My Run. Everyone on the mountain has a favorite run — one that holds great memories, or that they always seem to ski really, really well. While Sunnyside may not be the run I feel the best on, it is definitely one of my favorites because it was Matthew’s first black diamond. Another favorite is Cozy, because my daughters ski it straight down, without turning. Watching their control, speed and freedom will forever be one way that I think of them.
You still have a few more days to Claim Your Run. Get out there, make sure your camera works, and share what makes you happy with the world. Who knows, you might even win a new helmet cam, just for doing what you love to do anyway.