About a month ago, I told a little story about my first ski trip and promised another part to that story, about my first trip on the big kids’ run filled with excitement, humor and all around fun. Well, I don’t know if it’ll be all that, I mean, what could be better than wrasslin a 60 pound outboard motor, but I’ll do my best.
So the husband and I were on our honeymoon and I had taken a little spill down on the bunny slopes. I discussed the parts of a crash, the mental, the ‘oh shit’ moment, then the actual crash itself. Of course what always follows that is embarrassment and in some cases tears, whether the tears are from being injured or embarrassed depend on the severity of the fall.
After taking the spill down below, the husband and I decided to go ahead to the top of the mountain and ski up there for the rest of the day. We got on the lift and went up to the top and skied to mid mountain for a few hours. There wasn’t a lot of snow, as it was early in the year and there was a drought happening. We ended up having to take a blue (intermediate) run called West Fork but it was a nice wide run so I could traverse the mountain well enough to get by without falling on my rear or worse my face.
A few hours later, my confidence level was up (amazingly, I am a natural skier) and so was my appetite, so we decided to ski all the way to the base of the mountain and grab a bite to eat and possibly an adult beverage before heading back up to top off a wonderfully perfect day of skiing. We took this green (beginner) run called Demon Run which was kind like a very wide half pipe. It was a long straight shoot with really high walls.
I was skiing down Green Demon and was doing well, but I was going a little fast and the ski patrol guy yelled at me so, in trying to slow down, I turned my skis sideways and shot straight up the wall and into the trees. I didn’t fall down, I was so proud, but was a little afraid of having to ski back DOWN that wall to get back to the run. I took a deep breath and off I went, down the wall, back to the run where my darling man was waiting for me at the end of the run.
So we’re standing at the end of Green Demon where it turns into a blue run, also called Demon Run, so for the sake of this story, I will call it Blue Demon. Now, before I go on with this portion of my story, let me explain that I learned after all of this that the color coded runs are not relative to skiing level, but relative to the mountain itself. Green Demon, on a different mountain would have been Blue and Blue Demon elsewhere would have been Black (advanced). That said…..
I’m standing there at the top of Blue Demon, looking down and thinking to myself, “Oh my God, this is STEEP!” I looked up at my husband and said something akin to, “Are you crazy?” He looked at me and told me to just follow him, and I will be fine. Easy for him to say! I’m looking down at a steep ‘bowl shaped’ slope, I’m NOT fine!
So off the husband goes and he, of course, made it look easy. I took a deep breath and started down this nightmare of a run (remember this is my very first ski trip). So things are going fine, I’m traversing the slope like a pro, but am beginning to pick up speed. I keep trudging along and I get getting faster and faster, which makes me a little uneasy. Suddenly, I hit a bump in the slope and my skis are airborne. Now, it was probably only a few inches in the air, but might as well been a few feet. Either way, my skis were in the air, NOT on the mountain! I landed with relief only to immediately find myself in the air yet again. This is where my mental crash started to happen. I knew I was going to crash and I began to panic.
So, when my skis finally touched ground (only a second later, but felt like hours), I tried to hockey stop by turning my skis sideways. This was the ‘oh shit’ moment, I came right out of my skis while dropping my poles all at the same time. My body flies through the air and I land on my back, spread eagled and began to spin down the mountain, like a pinwheel on my back.
I’m looking up at the treetops, spinning above me while I’m digging into the snow with my fingernails (my gloves came off in the fall) trying to stop myself. Finally, I stopped with my head down slope and my feet upslope. I tilted my head up and could see these two guys gathering up all my stuff that came off me along the way. My poles, my skis (which were together and perfectly perpendicular to the slope) and my gloves were all gathered up by these young gentlemen.
Meanwhile, I’m getting to my feet, my headband was all pushed back and my sunglasses were catty-cornered along my face. I swear if I would have slid any further down that mountain, I probably would have ended up naked!
You might be wondering where my husband was during all this… he was way ahead of me, waiting for me and realized that I had fallen down, but was the epitome of patience and concern, but knew that I was okay since I was standing up.
So the boys get to me and they’re in their 20’s and they say, “Are you alright ma’am?” I sniffled, the tears flowing down my face and said, “Yes, I’m fine, I’m just really embarrassed!” They said, “Oh no! Don’t be embarrassed, you looked really cool! That fall was awesome!”
The youngsters helped me into my skis and assured me that I had made it down the worst part of the run, the rest was a piece of cake. So, I nervously set out on the second half of the run, and yes that part was a piece of a cake. We went and hand our lunch and I stayed in the bar the rest of the day having adult beverages. I was NOT going back up that mountain that day!
Well, I went back the next day and we found an alternate route to the bottom of the mountain that had a few hairpin turns that you certainly didn’t want to miss as you would end up in the trees with a 3 foot drop, broken bones or sudden death assured. Worse part about that run were the bare spots in it, but those were easy enough to miss.
It was a fun trip but my lesson learned is that I will not go so early in the season ever again!
Until Next Time