December 14, 2004
So yes, before the oversized luggage hassles of last night, there was skiing, three days of sliding down mountains on skis punctuated by occasional falls. I didn’t take any really spectacular tumbles, fortunately, and came home with all my joints and bones and muscles in no worse shape than before, and probably with stronger thighs, judging from how sore they were in the evenings before I popped a few ibuprofen. Also fortunately, no one I knew witnessed my stupidest fall, when I failed to notice I was standing on my own pole and tripped over it when getting going again after stopping to rest a minute. I bet the people on the lift–of course I did this under a lift–were impressed.
We skied the same three places we did last year when we went out to visit our friends Sue and Dan–Copper Mountain, Vail, and Beaver Creek. My opinions of the resorts didn’t change–I still like Copper and the Beav (I’m sure they don’t want me calling it that) and still don’t like Vail. I might have liked Vail better if we’d brought our powder skis, but the weather forecast didn’t call for any significant snowfall and dragging two pairs of skis each for three days seemed a bit much in that case. Evidently the universe decided it would be funny to tease us, and dumped 10 to 14 inches of snow in some places the night we flew in. I got along fine at Copper with my regular skis, but ran into trouble at Vail when our group (with no input from me) headed down a recently opened black diamond slope with deep, cut-up, grabby snow. I got maybe half way down when I managed to submarine one of my skis and pop out of it. It took what seemed like forever for me to dig it out while everyone waited for me at the bottom. When I finally got it back where I could see it, I couldn’t get the binding to reset and called on the radio to tell them to go ahead. I was frustrated–frustrated at falling, frustrated at not being able to pop right back up, and frustrated at being the slowest and least skilled skier in the group. I thought black thoughts while I dislodged the ice from my binding and clicked back into my ski and made my way down the rest of the slope. Mr. Karen had waited for me, because he is sweet that way, and we caught up with the rest of the group at the top of the next lift. I ended up doing one more run with the group, feeling pushed and not in a good way, before I split off to ski the rest of the day by myself.
I’d planned to do just a couple more runs and then find lunch, but after those two runs, I saw there was no lift line (no lift line? at Vail? it’s a sign from the gods) so did another, and then when I was heading to the nearest restaurant (being Vail, that was approximately two lifts and three catwalks away), I found a happy place–an empty blue run where could just fly–and skied that again and again until they closed the lift that serviced it; I didn’t even mind the road between the end of the run and the lift, since that’s probably why the run was so sparsely populated. Lunch ended up being a Snickers bar from a machine a little after 3:30, since all the restaurants had closed by then. When I got to our designated end of the day meeting place, I was much happier than I’d been when I’d last seen everyone.
Beaver Creek hadn’t gotten much new snow, so conditions there were craptacular in a few places, but I had a lot of fun anyway. Well, except for the bit where I hit some ice and wasn’t sure I was going to stop before I ran into the catch fence left over from the race that had been held on that slope a few weeks ago. That bit was not fun, though I did get a rush of accomplishment when I managed to get past the ice without crashing. All in all, it was a good first outing for the ski season.
One year ago, I wrote an entry about a very similar ski trip. We did end up staying in the spiffy new Comfort Inn this year; good thing, too, since the Super 8 isn’t even open anymore (soon it will be a Holiday Inn Express, so maybe we’ll try that next year).
Two years, there was a new baby quilt to show off.