Vail Daily letter: Adventure at Beav’
Vail, CO Colorado
So I went skiing last weekend. Loose term. I made some turns. I was up on the hill. I was at the Beav’, man. That’s all I know to say. I’m from Chicago.
Thanks to the Thrifty Shoppe, I got Atomic skis, poles, boots and a Carrera helmet for $140. Atomic replaced the recalled bindings for free at Sports Authority, Avon, so I was set. The pass? Oh well, I don’t have to eat.
So I get up to the top of Centennial and trail over to the Rose Bowl. The lift was the scariest part. I always think my tips will get stuck as I deplane. It was fun! Fun! Fun!
Until last weekend, I’d skied once in 30 years. Still I got cocky fast. Never knew why folks avoided the base of Centennial right above the Chophouse. Why? It’s hard! By the time I saw it, I had no choice but to go down. I took tiny little turns but went 15 or 20 feet vertical with every move. Confidence in my right ACL faded fast. I no longer looked somewhat cool. I looked tres stupide. I got tired. I started falling. Can anybody say, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up”?
Struggled some more, as I was determined to ski. Kept falling. Sweat began to pour down my back. I swore for the first time. Then I swore a lot. Finally I decided I’d better go down on my butt – trees were getting closer. My mom’s neighbor Pat had given me ski pants, so it was all good. No, maybe not. I slid faster on my ass than I did my skis. I lost grip of my poles and left one ski 25 feet up. Now I had to crawl back up and get the dang ski. I looked around for help. Nobody. So I got on my knees and looked up toward my ski. Began to crawl but started sliding again, this time backward. I swore big time. Now I was farther away from my ski. Finally I got close enough to my ski to snag it with my pole. I retrieved it and inched closer to the tree line to get out of board traffic. Near the pines, I sank like lead in the powder. Fine for experienced folks – pas moi. I swore some more. I decided to try skiing again because I could spit to the nearest lift operator and the whole event was becoming very embarrassing. Nobody cared. That’s how ya learn, man.
My binding was stuck shut, and I was pencil posting as 3-year-olds flew by with a smile. Beers were raising on the Chophouse patio, and I was almost crying. I made it down, though. It was a powder day. Way hooked. I’m going again Friday.
Jill Ann Fryklund, Avon
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