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.

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