What To Do On Valentine’s Day, Or More To The Point: How To Get More ________.

Modern high-speed six-pack chairlifts, bulbous helmets, and baggy trou have squelched skiing’s sex appeal.

Ah, February, a month that promises deeper snow, longer days, Presidents’ Day and love. And in the pursuit of the latter (because who wants to talk about presidents?!), what better sport is there than skiing and snowboarding?

Skiing, in fact, has deep roots in the love department. In the days of yore, we had two-seater chairlifts to snuggle on—for a little love under the pulley wheels. Because if you weren’t snuggling, you were most likely shivering on that 20-minute ride to the summit. There were tight stretch pants to show off toned legs and tight derrieres and no helmets to squash bouffant hairdos. And après ski, there were cozy fires and all sorts of warm drinks featuring schnapps and winter’s original cough syrup, Jägermeister.

OK, so we still have schnapps and Jägermeister. In fact, in Finland, Jägermeister is dispensed from contraptions that look like soft-serve machines (Jäger slushy anyone?). But modern high-speed six-pack chairlifts, bulbous helmets and oversized goggles, and baggy trou have squelched skiing’s sex appeal. Whisper sweet nothings into your date’s ear on a six-pack and she won’t be able to hear you through her helmet. So you’ll have to speak more loudly, and then half the mountain will learn your business. Oh the things we do for love…

My husband calls Valentine’s Day a Hallmark Holiday. But I think it’s just because he wants an excuse not to buy me flowers and chocolates. “Wouldn’t you rather have a new pair of skis?” he asks, which is very hard to argue with, right?

If new skis aren’t in your budget, flowers and chocolates are a pretty darn good option. Or better yet, what about a gift to make her (his/their) day at the mountain more comfortable? Say, sexy new long johns in a fun print: It’s skiing’s version of lingerie.

If you live out-of-state (or not), book a cozy B&B — where breakfast is served, as opposed to an AirBnB, where all meals are DIY. Nothing kills the Valentine’s vibe quite like having to clean up the kitchen and do the dishes.

Many lovely Vermont inns have the aforementioned cozy fireplaces and likely a Valentine’s special offering chocolate-dipped strawberries and flutes of champagne (which are undoubtedly more romantic than shots of Jägermeister). And if you get away from home, your date won’t suddenly remember that she needs to water the plants or take tomorrow’s roast out of the freezer as you snuggle on the sofa.

And don’t make the weekend just about skiing and riding. What about a couple’s massage at the spa? Or a snowshoe tour through quiet woods? A mellow uphill ski tour while holding hands and stopping for the periodic show of affection warms the heart and the _______.

Because on Valentine’s Day (or the weekend before), if you’re with someone special, skiing should be about more than hammering out laps and accruing vertical feet. It’s a chance to double down on the things you love, together, even if his helmet looks like it belongs on an astronaut.

Peggy Shinn is an eighth-generation Vermonter, writer for TeamUSA.org and recent inductee into the Vermont Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame. Her column “Vermontness” will be published regularly throughout the year. If you like it, please let her know.

Peggy Shinn is an eighth-generation Vermonter, writer for TeamUSA.org and recent inductee into the Vermont Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame. Her column “Vermontness” will be published regularly throughout the year. If you like it, please let her know. Just don’t look too lustfully at her World Cup VIP parking pass.
 

The Beast
Quintessential Killington
Roots Riding

One of snowboarding’s cultural icons and master of style, Danny Davis is all about bringing snowboarding to the people. His signature Woodward Peace Parks, including one at Killington, have opened up a whole new world for riders of all ages and abilities.

Read on
Mountain Forecasting

Mountain forecasting is its own beast. In this interview with Chief Meteorologist Mallory Brooke, we learn that she knows that beast better than anyone.

Read on
Builders of the Beast

The builders of the East's longest ski season always rise to the challenge. In this collection of profiles, we go behind the scenes with three of Killington’s most valuable players.

Read on
Deep Days

The pursuit of powder and transcendent turns alters the trajectory of people’s lives. Why? Immerse yourself in this interactive feature and find out.

Read on
Home Mountain Advantage

After last year’s COVID-driven cancellation of the World Cup, the Killington community is ready for its triumphant return. Plus: racers with Vermont roots including Mikaela Shiffrin, Nina O’Brien, and Paula Moltzan speak to the excitement of returning home.

Read on
Slippery Slopes

Imagine an eerily quiet, cold, crystalline world high in the mountains of Vermont, where everything—everything—is encased in two inches of glassy, impenetrable ice. We take you there in this multimedia feature story, and explore an otherworldly landscape witnessed only by a frozen few. Filmed and photographed on location at Killington Resort.

Read on
First Tracks

NCAA athletes Nina O’Brien and Paula Moltzan are the only skiers - besides Mikaela Shiffrin - to score points at the Killington Women's World Cup. Here, they talk about balancing their education with ski racing, and why there’s nothing quite like skiing in front of the home crowd.

Read on
Park Etiquette

Not all rules are made to be broken. In this animated feature story we dive into the do’s and don’ts of skiing and riding in our Woodward Mountain Park.

Read on
Mogul Queens

Aspiring olympic skier Hannah Soar and olympic gold medal winner Donna Weinbrecht are cut from the same cloth - or moguls, as it were. This rich media feature explores the passion that drives them both to greatness, while also reflecting on the mountain where it all began.

Read on
Culture
Characters & Craft Vermont
Snow Slang

Who knew there were so many words for snow? Here, writer Tyler Cohen takes a deep dive into the snow slang lexicon.

Read on
Quintessential Character

Pico may lack bourgeois base lodges and six-pack lifts, but it’s as rich in culture and community as any mountain destination in New England. Here, we explore the character that defines the Pico experience through a multimedia lens.

Read on
Vermontness
Peggy Shinn, Unfiltered
The Evolution of Killington’s Mountain Biking Revolution

Mountain biking has never been more fun.

Read on
Fling Into Spring

Vermontress Peggy Shinn takes us to her happiest place: springtime at Killington.

Read on
What To Do On Valentine’s Day, Or More To The Point: How To Get More ________.

Love is in the air … and in the gondola. Liven up your Valentine’s Day with Peggy Shinn’s primer on mountain love.

Read on
New Year’s Res-ski-lutions

Some New Year’s resolutions are doomed before the new year even begins. But not this one….

Read on
How to Be a Bada$$ Santa

Columnist Peggy Shinn’s guide to giving the gift of stoke this holiday season.

Read on
Waxing on the World Cup

4241’ columnist Peggy Shinn knows what it takes to win the Killington World Cup - as a spectator and an athlete.

Read on
Takeaways From Last Season

Longtime 4241’ writer and contributor Peggy Shinn is a ninth-generation Vermonter and a member of the Vermont Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame. This is the debut of her column, “Vermontness.”

Read on