Skiing at Andes Tower HIlls in Alexandria, Minnesota

Hitting the Slopes: Relearning to Ski and Attempting to Snowboard

So, I haven’t been skiing since I was in 8th grade, and since I’m nearing my third decade of life, 8th grade was quite some time ago. I was 6 when I learned how to ski and we used to go a few times a year. That doesn’t mean I was necessarily good, but I definitely had the hang of it and felt comfortable on our small Minnesotan slopes.

Skiing at Andes Tower HIlls in Alexandria, Minnesota

After moving back to Minnesota and such a long hiatus from skiing, we decided we needed to start hitting the slopes again. We haven’t spent much time at home this winter, but we did manage to strap on some skis and boards a few times at two different spots.

Skiing at Andes Tower HIlls in Alexandria, Minnesota

Three Rivers Park District: Hyland Ski and Snowboard Area

Micah’s birthday was just around the corner so to celebrate we went skiing and snowboarding with friends. I never realized how many ski hills were located in such a close vicinity to the Twin Cities, so we had plenty to choose from. The Hyland Ski and Snowboard Area in Minneapolis is super close to our friends place and the evening rate is only $37 per person ($15 “nights under the lights” weekend rate plus $22 rental), so that’s where we went!  They are in the process of building a new chalet, so everything is a bit rusty around the edges right now.  I am excited to see how it turns out though–it looks like it will be pretty nice when they are finished.

Skiing at Hyland Park in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Skiing at Hyland Park in Minneapolis, Minnesota

I’ve been wanting to try my hand at snowboarding for a few years, so I started out on a board because the rental desk assured me that I could change my rental to skis if I wanted. Micah knows how to both ski and snowboard, but like me, hasn’t been on the slopes in years, either. He decided to go snowboarding too, and even though he was a bit rusty, he picked it up pretty quick. Me on the other hand…my first attempt didn’t go so smooth! I couldn’t stay up and since I didn’t have anyone to actually teach me, I gave up and decided to switch to skiing. However, I do need to give it another chance one day soon.

Skiing at Hyland Park in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Switching was definitely the right move–after one run down the bunny hill, I was good to go and finally able to stay on my feet for the first time all night! We really didn’t have much time on the slopes, but we did get to go down a few runs. It was so great getting out to ski again–and thankfully the first attempt went fairly well!

Skiing at Hyland Park in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Skiing at Hyland Park in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Skiing at Hyland Park in Minneapolis, Minnesota

On our second visit to the Hyland Ski and Snowboard Area, we both went skiing. We happened to arrive at the perfect time–right when the school groups were leaving and before the evening rush started.  The slopes were practically empty, so I was able to practice and start learning to have a bit of control.  Typically, I’m used to just flying straight down the hill, but now I feel a bit more comfortable!

Skiing at Hyland Park in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Andes Tower Hills

When I saw a Groupon deal for the resort I frequented growing up, I knew I had to buy it. This is Minnesota, so again, the hills are quite small and nothing like real mountains, but it’s still fun to get out anyways, especially at a spot that feels like home. We met some family at Andes and had a wonderful evening despite the frigid temperatures.

Skiing at Andes Tower HIlls in Alexandria, Minnesota

Skiing at Andes Tower HIlls in Alexandria, Minnesota

Skiing at Andes Tower HIlls in Alexandria, Minnesota

I didn’t even bother to try snowboarding this time, and instead, clicked right into some skis. Still wanting to practice his snowboarding techniques, Micah hopped on a snowboard, and away we went.

Skiing at Andes Tower HIlls in Alexandria, Minnesota

Skiing at Andes Tower HIlls in Alexandria, Minnesota

When I was taking a break and warming up in the lodge, I noticed Micah heading back towards the rental counter. Apparently he had enough on the snowboard and decided to take another stab at skiing. After dusting the skis off again, he was so fired up and ready to take on every hill around. In fact, he got so amped up and excited about skiing that he can’t stop bugging me to get back out on the hills, which is why we went back to Hyland a second time. And, I can’t complain because I can use all the practice I can get before we head to the mountains again!

Have you been skiing or snowboarding? Which do you prefer?

 

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