Thursday, March 17, 2011

How to Get Your Green Ski Country

Wear green, eat green, drink green, see green (the dyeing of the Chicago River). Those are four simple shout-outs to St. Patrick's Day--add in a few "Kiss Me I'm Irish" stickers and some corned beef and cabbage and you're all set. Now many people might stop there, but I have another green thought on my mind that's just as prevalent as these others. Can I be green with envy? Not because I'm not Irish (not a lick), nor because there's no pot o' gold waiting at the end of my rainbow, not even a box of Lucky Charms. Instead it's because I left the snowy mountains before the St. Patty's celebrating began and I missed the at-home celebrating, the green river and the parade, that happened while I was skiing. But if I could be back skiing right now, here's how I'd want to bring out my green.
  1. Ski a green run. Yes, totally obvious since those green circles can easily be had at just about any mountain, except Mt. Bohemia in Michigan's Upper Peninsula where you won't find anything less than black. But here's a challenge: can you name a green run that has an St. Patty's-themed name? Props if you quick scan of some trail maps didn't turn up any Shamrocks, Dublins, Leprechauns or Emeralds like Al Roker's weather forecast did this morning.
  2. Drink Guinness at apr├Ęs. You know you can have a Snake River brew or a Fat Tire practically any time you want so why not switch it up and toast with this Irish beer. A little known fact: you'll even be saving on calories.
  3. Score a Pot O' Gold. If you're toying around at one of the five Vail Resorts linked to EpicMix--Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Heavenly, Keystone, Vail--all you have to do is check in with your pass or Peaks card and you'll find a Pot 'O Gold pin in your EpicMix. Following the tradition of receiving pins for Martin Luther King Day and Valentine's Day, anyone who hits the mountain on March 17 will be a virtual winner.
  4. Look out for Leprechauns. Rumor has it that leprechauns were lurking around Heavenly, and not at its base areas but on the snow. Don't believe me? Read all about it here.
  5. Wear green. The obvious answer to getting your green on, but when you have to think winter gear, it can be a little harder to do since it requires more than tracking down a green tee. But it can't be that hard to track down a green jacket, right? There's one hanging in my husband's closest that I would have made him use today if we could be out there. As for me, can I count my green Rossignols? Either that or I'd don my kelly green hoodie.
  6. Snag a Shamrock Sticker. I've been eyeing these stickers for years, first catching a glimpse of one stuck to a helmet and most recently to a pair of skis. Not only is it cute, but tack it to your skis and you may have just thwarted theft.
  7. Chow Cookies. OK, so cookies don't have much to do with Irish tradition unless you use green food coloring and a shamrock-shaped cookie cutter, but if a ski spot is offering cookies for free wouldn't you eat them regardless? Healthy eats aside, I like my sugar on a snow day, especially when I can snag it and keep on skiing. Vail and Breckenridge posted to their Facebook pages this morning that they'd be out on cookie patrol with a green theme, meanwhile Beaver Creek always serves up the chocolate chip variety at 3 p.m. at the Centennial base. Yum!
  8. Hit the Green State: Vermont. Yes, that's right. The state that's known for its maple syrup (not green, obviously) also boasts a green license plate--or did the last time I played the license plate game on a road trip--with its motto the Green Mountain state. You can ski this mountain range by taking to the slopes at Killington or Jay Peak.
Whatever your St. Patrick's Day fancy and your method of mass destruction, here's one tip for the road. Add a Zym tablet to your water and sip it before you conk out for the night--it's been known to be a hangover cure-all. Your body will thank you tomorrow when it's ready to ski and ride, even more snow if the predicted storms leave fresh powder in their wake. That's one day you wouldn't want to be stuck in bed.

Photo grabbed from Vail's Facebook page.

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