A strong appetite, average palate, and weak writing, mixed with outdoor adventure.

A strong appetite, average palate, and weak writing, mixed with outdoor adventure.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Slow White Fluffy Death (ski day)

I have skied 6 times since I moved to Colorado and none within the last 5 years. Between the cost and joining the weekend salmon run of front range skiers who clog the roadways and are far more tolerant of gridlock than I, it is a mountain sport I never picked up. Sensing an opportunity for easy entertainment, Ted invited me to join he and Nadine for a day of skiing. Picking up the scent of athletic shame in the wind, Becky instantly signed on too. I know this trio wanted to witness a day of expletives, slow speeds and dives onto the slopes, and frankly I would not want my friends any other way!

It was snowy on the way up and Winter Park was reporting 7” of new snow. A soft cushion into which to cast myself.


While I have not skied in years, I had gotten down a few intermediate slopes in the past, so I knew I would be fine on the beginner runs. Since I had hyped up how hopeless I was Ted and Becky (Nadine was in a lesson) were both surprised at my ability to make turns. Their encouragement led us to a blue slope, where, with additional tips and and tutelage, I did not disappoint, in either skill or entertainment.


I took a sideways fall that left skis and poles scattered on the slope behind me, as though I had an eject button for all items attached to my appendages. A mouthful of snow muffled the sound of my cursing. Yet, my ears could detect an “are you OK?” that was was immediately followed by peals of laughter. Upon righting myself I look upslope to this:


Upon catching their breath and wiping away their tears they were kind enough to collect my gear. This was by far the most dramatic tumble of the day, which was great, as we got a lot more skiing in than expected since I did not spend 50% of the day on my back.

The jury is out as to whether it is a sport that could embrace me like it has so many other Coloradoans. Yet, there were a few moments during the day where the slope was just the right pitch, I was balanced on my feet and it was effortless, just tilting hips and moving back and forth in the flow of gravity.   It is that moment where everything falls away and a friend passes on each side feeling the same thing, that could convince me that strapping on planks and braving cold and traffic is not such a high cost after all.

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