Chasing the Skiing Dragon

Yeah, I know that a drug reference, but as wise ski instructor once told me, skiing is the best drug of them all.  Not having any extensive experience with drugs (except for chocolate chip cookies and Real Housewives shows) I’ll take his word for it.

When I do go skiing, I do think a lot about these funny universal truths I’ve realized about skiing over the years.  First and foremost in my mind is the fact that in 2011, when I went to re-learn how to ski, I thought it was going to be a one time thing, never to be repeated.

At first when I started going skiing, I noticed I got this mental clarity from the whole thing that nothing else had ever given me.  Beyond that though, I like the weekend skiing because it gives me a place to go and this kind of sense of community.  On every ski lift, people get on and start talking you automatically.  They want to know how your day is going, fill you in different trails to visit and give you tips on what to do.  I found out about my favorite trail at Sugarbush from a conversation on a lift.  Lately, I got some good advice about which gloves to buy.  The consensus seems to be that gloves should be purchased at the hardware store.

Today I visited Loon Mountain in New Hampshire, which I visited before when the conditions there reminded me skiing on small ice rocks.  Today the conditions were fabulous.  I find this out when I entered some terrain marked “expert” and made it down in that area in an orderly fashion on the first try.  On the second try, I landed in a big pile of soft powder.  Live and learn I guess.

So here at this part I will compile my list of the universal truths of skiing.  Skip past this if the skiing talk has bored you silly.  There will be pictures below.  I promise.

  1. The ski trip you want to go on will inevitably be disappointing.
  2. The ski trip you aren’t in the mood for and don’t want to get up for will be amazing.
  3. Don’t get intimidated by that five year old who just zoomed past you on the black diamond.  They probably live one mile from the resort.
  4. Some ski lifts are fine.  Other resemble catapults.
  5. The conversations on the ski lifts are great fun.
  6. The conversations with ski patrol are even greater fun.
  7. Avoid people wearing jeans to ski on the mountain.
  8. Some snowboarders stinking of marijuana will always join you on the lift.  Pay them no mind at all.
  9. (This is true in New England)  The dulcet tones of classic rock will pervade every slope you visit, just as God intended.
  10. Eat something before you ski.  This one is pretty obvious, but one I avoided for a long time because I thought I was wasting time.
  11. Drink something before you ski.  Drink a lot and I mean Gatorade not vodka shots.
  12. Any skiing you do after 3pm is a gift.
  13. When they say expert terrain, they mean it.
  14. Jelly legs are awesome.  They mean you are having a good day and pushing yourself really hard.  They also mean it is time to take a break.
  15. If you aren’t falling, you aren’t learning.
  16. You can loosen your form or change it but you have to have it in the first place.
  17. A plan on how to get down from that mountain is vital.  That plan can always fall apart.
  18. “Easy” in terms of skiing is really relative.
  19. Don’t get too attached to your poles.  They will get bent or stolen multiple times.
  20. Nickname your skis.  Mine are “The Pythons.”  Its cute and sinister at the same time.
  21. Once this skiing thing gets into your head, it will never leave.

And that is all she wrote.  Let’s get to today’s views:

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