slaydies shred (  @mollyrae27  & ski journalist Heather Burke  @familyskitrips )

slaydies shred ( @mollyrae27 & ski journalist Heather Burke @familyskitrips)

“Happy Holiday Hangover!” a chairlift of girls chant as they chuck snowballs at the “Ski Tips Up” sign at the top of the Jordan lift. It’s the first weekend of 2019 and we find the girl parts of Elevated Locals at their happy place aka Sunday River, Maine. The holidaze have been had, and now, time for some proper fun! The girls were in a no man’s land - like no boys allowed !!! This was Sunday River’s first Holiday Hangover, a women’s wellness retreat, and the line-up was fierce: ski/ride, yoga, party, yoga, early-ups, demo Coalition Snow skis and boards, park clinic, ski clinic, party, earn-your-turns, party, and shred shred shred. This three day celebration = Paradise Island. You know that isle where Wonder Woman grew up? That island was ruled by Amazon women who honed their skills day after day. This retreat is the same idea - warrior women training on snow everyday! Holiday Hangover IS Paradise Island.

Located 12 minutes from Bethel, Maine - Sunday River shines with eight peaks. From White Cap’s steep searing all star White Heat, to the lounging Lazy River on Barker Mountain, to the glowing green glade Emerald City haven of Oz - each peak is different with its own unique terrain. When the view is clear from Jordan Bowl, Mount Washington shines at you from the southern White Mountains. Extensive wild slopes to be covered! Sunday River started their season in October with Snowvember (a super snowy November) following; so all the peaks were open and prime at the time of our tale.

Karen and Grandma arrived late Friday morning at the posh slope-side Jordan Hotel with a full fleet of Coalition Snow skis and boards. Karen, as the east coast demo rep for Coalition Snow, came ready with the snow weapons to be chosen. Instead of gearing up in the classy hotel they dressed in the parking lot - old habits die hard.

On their way to Spruce Peak to pick up Ally they saw ski patrol had dropped the ropes for the Poppy Fields. Let the lucid dreams begin! They grabbed Ally and went back to Oz. This land of trees is so intoxicating, it feels like a members only club and is very hard to leave. The trio knew that they couldn’t sleep on the rest of the peaks, so they peeled themselves away - instantly finding new treasures in the parks, rollers, and other gladed areas. All of a sudden it was time for yoga back at the Jordan Hotel! At this Paradise Island, women thrive. Yoga is another tool to add to the quiver of skills - a new kind of aprés. The Holiday Hangover group was led by the ever so chill Danielle Gismondi a Lululemon ambassador. She brought them into a restorative vinyasa practice, precisely suitable for soothing sore legs and banishing lactic acid. (peep Danielle Gismondi’s pro tip below in Fun Facts).

Next up on the agenda was the Welcome Reception - a private party for all the wonder women. There were wines, cheeses, and scrumptious aps. There were oils, hair & skin care tools, Coalition Snow skis and boards, the Lululemon, jewelry, and - of course a yeti. Excellent things to enhance the marvelous women in our tribe.

Saturday brought morning yogas. And then….. The early ups!!! The juicy delightful treat of early ups. The Holiday Hangover posse was on the Jordan X at 7:30. Oh the joy of having the hill to yourself as the sun rises! Fresh cords - mmmmm like a hippy with a job. And the warrior women slayed. They slayed the bowl of Jordan. They slayed the Aurora land, and they slayed Spruce Mountain - leaving the carnage of first tracks in their wake.

It was then time for the sharpening of the techniques. The slaydies disbanded for the moment, some headed to ski clinic, some went to study the park, and some went to check out the Coalition Snow instruments. Laps on laps on laps. The Oz territory brought on much joy for Grandma and Lauretta (an educator of science and endurance). They rode until the lifts stopped spinning and the knees gave out.

Earning their turns Sunday morning, many of the Holiday Hangover squad skinned up Lollapalooza. The sky was a fiery sunrise framing the Mahoosuc Mountains. A magical aura glowed around the champion women - special memories were made. The rest of the day everyone ripped around and of course, Oz brought down the house. (Okay - we like, really, really love Oz).

Although it would be ideal to stay in the Sunday River Paradise Island sanctuary forever, it was time to return to their other worlds. Armed with their knowledge and spirit, a new army of Wonder Women descended on the country.

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Thank you Sunday River for the special adventure!

Fun Facts:

  • The Sunday River mascot is a pair of Yetis - so there you go - Yetis are real.

  • In the 1980’s when most of America was about money, looking expensive, and wearing credit cards as earrings; Sunday River’s then owner Les Otten chose an opposite route. He told Ski Magazine that Sunday River was a “middle class ski resort all the way.” He made it clear that the resort wanted the average skier to be able to come play, and afford a place to stay. Cheers to that!

  • A Threedom Pass is $279. This pass gives you three lift tickets and then 40% off Sunday - Friday and 20% off Saturdays.

(this tip has been saving our wrists!)

“To place the weight evenly on the hands, place the hands down fingers first, then the base of the fingers, and the wrists land last. Once you’ve placed the hands down, imagine you could close the space between the fingers. Energetically squeeze the fingers toward each other, but they won’t touch. This creates a puff of air underneath the hands and allows you to take the weight out of your wrists, making space for the carpal tunnel. Any postures done on the hands will feel more supportive, and that support travels up and into the shoulder girdle.”

  • There is a mystical Chondola lift at Sunday River. It is a hybrid chair lift and gondola, birthed in a secret land and run by magic (or Doppelmayr).

  • In 1958 the first single trail was cut on the face of Locke Mountain - the beginning of Sunday River! The peace symbol was also designed in 1958 in England. There must have been something in the air that year.

Thank you again Sunday River, see you in Paradise Island next year!

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All words and photos by @grandma_samomo - except some photos in the video from Molly.

Thanks Molly!