Thursday, December 25, 2008

Diary of a wimpy skiier

What fun to spend Christmas day on the slopes. I think what I love most about skiing is the proximity it allows to nature - to be IN the snow, in the trees, rounding a curve to breathtaking views of the white-blanketed valley below and Sangre de Cristo mountains beyond. Breezing past skeletal, once-glorious aspens juxtaposed with full evergreens stretching to heaven, branches weighty with dollops of melted marshmallow-like globs of fallen snow.
I especially love skiing on sunny days. Days where sunglasses are as essential as ski boots, with warm enough temps that render me indecisive about whether or not to wear a scarf. Days where the blinding, glittery snow reflects radiant sunshine in every direction. All of this with powdery snow from a recent storm. My perfect ski day.
Today was not one of those days. Overcast and gray and cold(!), we skied through the snowstorm that readied tomorrow's powder. I told Corbin on our second run, trying to sound optimistic, "We are not dressed properly for this!" I'm not sure what proper attire would have been, but I'm guessing heated glove liners, full face masks and a Bunsen burner in my ski pants.
We were ruddy & red-faced from the howling wind & snow pellets. At any given moment the landscape looked like a flurry of thick powdered sugar - lumps & all - shaken from the sky with a huge power blower blasting a perfectly horizontal wind.
I keep forgetting that when we ski, Corbin and the boys take every possible lift, getting in every run before the mountain's dreaded 4:00 closing. Branson & Hudson do this for adventure's sake. Corbin is further motivated by the money we spent on today's rentals and lift tickets. And while I know I should be propelled to make the most of our ski time as well, my tingling finger tips & numb toes scream otherwise and instead beckon me to the mountain cafe, where I can spend even more money on a steaming cup of coffee.
Coming down the last run, with about 10% visibility through the whirling wind and snow, Corbin called out "Hey, no neck!" as he whizzed past his frozen, nearly petrified wife. Bran and Hud's giggles echoed behind me. I have no idea how long my shoulders had been hunched up to my head, as if tightening every muscle in my body would will the blustery snowstorm away. All I kept thinking was, "Just get to the hot tub. Just get to the hot tub."
I promptly returned my rented skis and boots and poles by 4:30 today. I felt kinda bad when Hudson leaned out the car window and called to me as I walked into the ski shop, "Mom, puh-leese ski with us tomorrow. Don't you want to spend time with me?"
And then I felt even more kinda bad when Corbin told me we couldn't get a refund for my rental (already paid for tomorrow). But then a few minutes later when our 4-wheel drive truck was stuck in three-foot drifts of snow, waiting to be towed (helpful here to have a brother-in-law who runs a snow plow business in the area), I looked at my phone and saw that the high tomorrow is 27 degrees, and the low a big fat zero. WITH snowstorms.
At that point, I didn't feel even kinda bad.
I anticipate enjoying a steaming cup of coffee tomorrow morning, watching the ski runs through Mama and Papa's big picture windows.
More power to you, boys!

**The photos above are from around the lodge - just a glimpse of the snow. I didn't take one picture on the mountain - even with my camera in my pocket, no photo was worth un-gloving my hand to snap a pic!**