Biff America: Sex and avalanches
VAIL CO, Colorado
They were a beautiful couple; the woman strikingly attractive, the man movie star handsome. They had met the night before at an opening of impressionist paintings hosted by a high end New York art Gallery. From the minute they were introduced, their attraction was palpable and, before they went their separate ways that evening, they made plans to have dinner the following night.
Over drinks, before dinner, they exchanged witty banter with sexually charged subliminal innuendos. During one such clever exchanged the lady reached out and placed her hand on the gent’s wrist to make a point. The touch was electric.
They ordered their meals though food was the last thing on their minds. Over more drinks they continued flirting. The tension built and about 10 minutes before their food arrived the gentleman said, “Are you really hungry? Would like go somewhere more quiet?”
The lady blushed and stood up her eyes never leaving his and the man took out two $100 bills and left them on the table.
They barely made it in the door of his apartment; they made crazy love on the kitchen floor.
Just so you know, that stuff never happens. Or to be more precise it only happens in the movies.
In real life there are usually some missteps, uncertainty, and self doubt mixed with the attraction and hope.
And unlike the couple in the movie who perform acrobatic lovemaking without mussing their hair or makeup, in real life most of us have to contend with unflattering reality of genetics and gravity. That does not mean real life encounters cannot be magical, but it is magic mixed with realism.
Those who are too naïve to realize the difference between real life and fantasy in love and life are likely to be disappointed.
The good news is it won’t kill them.
Not so in ski movies. If you attempt to live the lives of those you see in winter sports films you could be in a world of hurt, or worse.
This past winter season has been one of the most deadly in memory in terms of avalanche-caused backcountry ski deaths; and along with the deaths there were many injuries and close calls.
Of course the Front Range news outlets gave the high avi-danger, deaths and near misses big coverage. You would see, on the evening news, some blow-dried reporter, hatless in sub freezing temps, standing in a parking lot extolling the dangers of back country travel all the while cutting to some video showing the aftermaths of big slides on steep terrain. Usually the reporters would mention the most recent accidents, quote the yearly statistic, while looking over their shoulders as if a deadly slide could, at any moment, take them out.
The panic was not confined to out-of-town press. Social media featured videos and warnings of the dangers of backcountry travel. Some even suggesting with, the many ski areas nearby, one would have to be crazy to venture out of bounds.
Yes, this was a sketchy winter in terms of snow stability. And yes, there were a handful of deaths and accidents locally and nation wide. But the danger was proportionate to the risks that snow sport enthusiasts were willing to take. If you thought you could live the life depicted in films, you could be in trouble, but if you were conscious and careful, it was a safe as skiing in bounds and safer than driving.
I think, if left to our own devices, most of us are happy to be cautious and prudent. But often we try to live our lives like the ubiquitous ski films with skiers, boarders and snowmobilers doing crazy and risky stuff. What you don’t see is the planning, preparation and support crews all attempting to ensure the safety of the athletes doing stuff the rest of us would be wise not to attempt.
Yes this past winter has been one where the snow has been particularly unstable. And yes, there was an above average number of injuries and fatalities nationwide and yes, if you are not careful you could get hurt. But if you have some training, the correct equipment and most importantly, a small ego and lots of common sense, you can play in the mountains any day of the year and come back in one piece.
Just don’t confuse real life with the movies. In real life you clean your plate. And the tiles on the kitchen floor can be painful.
Jeffrey Bergeron, under the alias of Biff America, can be seen on TV-8-Summit and read in several newspapers and magazines. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Biff’s book “Steep, Deep and Dyslexic” is available from local book stores or at BiffAmerica.net.
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Vail’s updated plans regarding the state guidelines and isolation housing requirements is one of several pieces of information guests are waiting on heading into the 2020-21 season.