Saturday, March 10, 2007

Skiing Stevens

So back in early December of last year, I was finally talked into going skiing with several friends at work. It had a long while since I last skied, but the timing finally seemed right and everything would have worked out great except that was the the particular day that Mother Nature chose to unleash one of the mightiest windstorms in years. After a couple very shaky runs on the easiest chair lift, the resort was closed for the rest of the day. Wind speeds were reported at 100mph at the top of the mountain.

Fast forward nearly three months later to March 8, when I finally had a chance to go back to Stevens Pass and redeem the lift voucher I got for the aborted attempt in December. My friend Randy and I took off from work for the afternoon and hit the slopes at about 130pm under fair skies, 28 degrees and no wind.

It felt great to be on the slopes again and though I probably haven't skied more than 10 times in the last 20 years, I did OK, all things considered. My thighs burned like fire during the first few runs, but eventually settled down to just a semi-crippling sizzle. One of the highlights of the afternoon was recovering some stashed beers and watching the boarders go through the terrain park as we chilled out on the sidelines. Never did the once-laughable bottle opener feature on my jacket seem quite so brilliant.

I think we took every lift on the mountain, save for the single most difficult and the easiest. Randy didn't let up on me at all, and by 6pm I was wiped out and ready to head back home. I only fell once the entire afternoon, but it was a pretty bad event, being a combination face plant, knee and ankle twister, sliding down the hill, totally out of control sort of thing. That was one fall where it would have been real nice if the bindings had released.

Neverthless, I survived and it was all good.

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