I am not a good skier

Stratton Travel Blog

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The view from where I was lying in the snow

The morning started off well enough.  Belle woke me up around 7:30am, its a wonderful thing to be woken up by a cute voice early in the morning, when you aren't used to it -- it feels sort of homey.  I was out of bed by 8 and in my ski clothes by and out the door by 8:30.  Julie and I dropped off the kids at school and headed to South Londonderry to get breakfast -- ham and cheese and butter baguettes -- I scarfed it down.  Next we were off to get my boots, poles, and skis from Julie's friend Sean.  He fitted me well, in some kick ass red ski boots -- I looked the part, although my ski pants are from a decade ago and have a not too popular elastic leg opening, but other than that, I looked like a skier.

We were at the mountain and in the gear by 10am, I kept telling Julie that I am a beginner skier, well a beginner skier 10 years ago.

frustrated
I skied the easiest runs at Stowe and Keystone a long time ago. Her faith in my ability, was much grander than my own.  I should have questioned her logic as we headed straight to the gondola to the top of the mountain and didn't even let me stop for a trail guide.  There we were though, on a ten minute gondola ride to the top of Stratton Mountain

At the top, it didn't seem so bad.  It was relatively flat, I got to practice my wedge and my turns and I was stopping okay.  Then out of nowhere, the mountain got pretty steep for a beginner with trails crisscrossing and decisions about which trail to take and lots of trees, and the fear of God, filling me with dread.

The covered bridge at Stratton
  Up until this ski trip, I had never fallen while skiing.  They really don't teach you about falling when you are in ski school. I got my practice in, in spades.

I was behind Julie, so the first time I fell, she was pretty close, so she talked me through it.  It wasn't too bad.  There is some maneuvering to get skis in place and poles convenient, but I was on groomed snow, so after a minute of so, I was up and skiing again, but I have to say my spirit was broken.  When you fall, all of those visions from Wide World of Sports and the agony of defeat fill your mind.  Skis make your legs twist in weird ways and gravity keeps things moving downhill, when you really kust want to be still. I just kept falling down.  I couldn't control my speed very well, which was a huge problem when I needed to time to reflect on my decisions, choices, and the other people skiing around me.

A better way to spend the day

After about the third fall, I couldn't see Julie anymore.  Which, honestly, was a relief, this was bad enough and I just needed to get through it on my own. There was one fall which happened at a crossroads of about 4 trails and a terrain park, where I totally lost my nerve.  I just sat in the snow, sweaty, beet red, and defeated.  I tried to figure out the best way to go on, thats the problem with skiing, you have to make it down a mountain somehow, and I had to figure it out.  I recalled all that I had learned about turning and controlling speed -- but I couldn't make it work.  I took my skis off. I tried to prop myself up, but being in ungroomed snow at this point I just pushed into soft powder until I found the ground about 2 feet below me, but I finally got up and walked to the other side of the trail, and somehow managed to put my skis back on and just went.

Stratton Village
  I kept finding a next point to get to and just went.  I made it once, and then again, and then I would fall, and I would get up and go again.  I finally got to a less steep part of the trail and and started to enjoy it.  Plus, there were houses on one side of the trail, so I knew that in desperation, I could jsut crawl to someones yard and beg for a ride to the base lodge. 

There was only one more bad part.  It was really beautiful though, so I made it.  I was skiing along, and then it looked like the trail just ended into a covered bridge.  Actually, the trail dropped into a little valley under the bridge, so in my panic, I of course fell.  I got the skis on, one more time and just went.  I was fine and then I saw the base lodge, and skied for about one more minute.

Stratton Mountain
  I was done for the day.  There was Julie, I think, very elated to see I was in one piece.  We went to the bar in the lodge and I drank about 6 glasses of water and then a beer -- Magic Hat #9, my favorite.  Julie asked if I wanted to go again, hell no, so I sat in on the deck and watched the other skiers and Julie have much more fun than I did.  Julie kept asking if I wanted to go again, I would just hold up my beer and say, "I'm fine, you go back, I am enjoying this much more than you can imagine." When Julie came back up, we ordered a monstrous plate of nachos and I ate like I had not eaten before.

That was the other bad part of the day.  I am allergic to some preservatives, and apparently these nachos were built only of preservatives.  I got a killer headache and threw up aobut 20 times and then passed out for three hours, it was a bad sight.

  I woke back up at 9pm and felt much better.  The day was long and I managed to fall asleep again by 11 and slept all night long.

 

X_Drive says:
Fifty years ago I found the word "Zzitsmark" a very apt word. I left many along the ski runs of southern California mountains while skiing. Glad you made it down in one piece.
And you just gotta find a way to reverse that allergy. Good luck.
Posted on: Mar 20, 2007
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The view from where I was lying in…
The view from where I was lying i…
frustrated
frustrated
The covered bridge at Stratton
The covered bridge at Stratton
A better way to spend the day
A better way to spend the day
Stratton Village
Stratton Village
Stratton Mountain
Stratton Mountain
Stratton
photo by: isaiah3021