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I think skiing is romantic. Not everyone does. And not all guys (sorry gentlemen, this is from a female perspective) get the romance angle of skiing, more prone to charging down the hill and back up the lift repeatedly.

Guys, you have an opportunity next Valentine’s weekend (post football – time to step away from the TV) to show your loved one how wonderfully warm and fuzzy this winter sport can be.

I am the first to admit that not all aspects of the outdoor downhill activity are romantic (read: cold, steep, difficult). There is no dreamy delight in frozen ski boot buckles, falling or frostbite.

The key to a tryst on the trails is preventing the chill or shrill from setting in. There are some very precious moments that can only happen on a snow-covered mountain.

The mere invitation of a romantic ski rendezvous should give your sweetheart something to sing about. The anticipation of heading to the slopes mono a mono is part of the potion. Checking the forecast and expressing concern that your snow date will be bundled and outfitted properly should score early points. Buying disposable hand and foot warmers is downright heroic (and only about $2 a pair).

Next there is the commute to the slopes. Coffee, fresh pastries, ideally heated seats, make a chivalric “pick up.”

Carrying skis and buckling your date’s boots, while a thoughtful gesture, depends largely on the make up of your friend. My brother in law still buckles his wife’s ski boots after 15 years of marriage, so he obviously set that pampering precedent on a first ski date. Be aware, some women may not dig this level of gallantry – myself included. I like to be cared for, but I am not incapacitated.

During those long chairlift rides, you have captured quality time together. Here is your chance to snuggle close in the fresh air and discuss offbeat but revealing topics. Then you have your ski run to contemplate your next move. There is nothing corny about appreciating the scenery along the way either. Braving the elements together, taking in the mountain vistas through each other’s eyes is especially tender.

As for the downhill portion of the date, be sure you ski terrain that is comfortable for both of you. Reducing your ski partner to tears or humiliation is no way to her (or his) heart. Ego-pleasing terrain makes you both look and feel best. Only if you are both accomplished and eager to tackle the steep gnarly black diamonds should you point your boards to the expert runs to get your hearts pumping in tandem. As one Perfect Turn coach at Sugarloaf told me, “Boyfriends who take their girls down terrain they aren’t comfortable skiing should be shot.” That is a bit extreme, but I believe it underscores the point.

Back to the romance of the day, one clever Cupid wrote his proposal in the snow last Valentine’s at Sunday River, a big red message displayed under the Barker lift so his bride-to-be was sure to see it. Who could say no to such a sentimental spray painted “Will you marry me?”

Take time to break for hot chocolate (known for its aphrodisiac powers). Make lunch a table for two, ideally a sit-down beyond the clamoring cafeteria. I think Gepettos and The Bag at Sugarloaf are celebratory spots. Follow that with dinner at Hugs, it even sounds romantic.

Après ski is notorious for hot toddies and hot tubs. Both qualify as excellent post-mountain mood enhancers. Sitting by a roaring fire and recounting the day’s highlights is the perfect ending to your outdoor adventure. Slopeside lodging is prime location if you share a passion for first chair and first tracks. Sunday River and Sugarloaf are both offering Valentine lodging and lift ticket packages with massages for two, chocolates and flowers. If a more leisurely morning with gourmet breakfast is your preference, a ski town Inn or B&B is an inspired Valentine venue.

Cross-country skiing, even snowshoeing, can be engaging outdoor pursuits for couples. While these lack the adrenaline rush of downhill schussing, you can transport one another to a nature bound, secluded setting, dreamy. Pack a picnic and a ring in your pocket to add excitement to these sideways sports.

Regardless of where you go, spending time together in the powdery snow is a positive way to get to know each other better, renew an extinguished flame, or even pop the question in a fantastic fashion.

Haven’t you heard the saying “the couple that skis together, stays together”? Perhaps I have made it up – but it sounds good. Get out and share the love of skiing with the one you love..

More Romantic Ski Destinations

Destinations l New England l Rockies l Canada l Europe

All Stories by Heather Burke
All Photography by Greg Burke
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