Before we had our daughter, who is 3, my husband Pat and I skied together. A lot. Mostly in the backcountry, but I also occasionally lured him up to spend a day on the sweeping slopes of Lone Peak.
In my mind, a date occurs on skis. Going out to dinner is nice, but it’s not romantic like snow and sky and dancing down a mountainside together.
This year, thanks to his mother’s generous babysitting, Pat and I are skiing together again. This year, we spun laps at Big Sky, hiking and skiing until we could hardly walk (or ski). On the lift, I’d look over at him with his bushy beard and wild hair sticking out of his helmet, waiting for a grin like I did when we were first together 10 years ago. Pat is a classic, stoic Montana mountain man, and his grins can be hard to come by. Not on this day.
It didn’t hurt that it snowed five inches the night before, and it continued coming down lightly all day. My husband and I don’t need date nights. We need ski dates.
It makes me think of something Bill Levitt, the mayor of Alta, Utah for 30-plus years, once said. He was looking out the window of the ski lodge he owned, where I worked early in my ski bumming career.
“If this isn’t romantic, I don’t know what is.”
I agree. Ski dates are the best dates.
– Emily Stifler Wolfe
Emily Stifler Wolfe is a freelance writer based in Bozeman and a former ski patroller in Big Sky.