As a skier, being the first person on the mountain and having at those freshies, as my family refers to them, is one of the most magical things about skiing. Having a trail all to your self—or almost to yourself—with no one else in your way is such a great feeling. Being the first person to touch that fresh powder or freshly groomed tracks—there’s nothing else like it. It’s simply incomparable. I can think of no better reason to get up in the cold at zero-dark-thirty than to be the first one on the mountain. Thanks to Northstar California Resort for hosting us for a weekend and letting us experience their First Tracks Program.
Experience Northstar California Resort First Tracks Program
At Northstar, their First Tracks program is an exclusive opportunity to let you be the first skiers on the mountain before the lifts and trails open to the public. Unlike some resorts that let you be one of hundreds, Northstar’s program is more exclusive so you’re one of a few dozen out in the freshest snow possible. The view over Lake Tahoe is breathtaking as the sun rises over the mountains and all you can hear is the “swish swish” of the snow beneath your skis as you make your way down the trails.
Northstar First Tracks is great for all ages
Whether you’re an intermediate or expert skier, there are trails and guides to suit you. Ride or ski by yourself or with your family and friends. We skied as a family and then took a few runs together so everyone had the opportunity to have the best time possible at their ability levels. My husband loves skiing with our family, along with my little U12 racer, but my daughter and I who are barely intermediate skiers can’t hang with them on the triple-black diamonds, and they don’t want to hang with us on the intermediate trails. It’s a perfect opportunity for compromise and fun for all.
Northstar First Tracks lets you grow as a skier
One of the things I loved most about this experience is that as a growing skier, I hate the pressure of wondering what other people who are at my level or below are also doing on the mountain around me, especially on a busy ski day. It stresses me out. On a morning like this, all that pressure and stress is gone because there aren’t hundreds or even thousands of other people whizzing by me on the hill—some often not paying attention as they are supposed to be. It’s such a nice relaxing feeling to truly enjoy every moment of the sunrises and the sounds of nature to seeing my breath in the air to the sounds of my skis carving through the snow. It also gives me an opportunity to develop as a skier because I know there aren’t nearly as many skiers on the hill so I can take a few more risks for me without having to worry about tons of people around me.
After about 90 minutes of breathtaking beauty and fresh tracks, you have breakfast in Zephyr Lodge as the lifts open to the rest of the public. It’s a perfect time for a break, warming up, and fueling up for the rest of a great day on the slopes.
If you’ve never hit the slopes first thing in the morning before everyone else, it’s a must-do. Add it to your list for this ski season. You won’t regret it