Ski Bunny in Training
When I tell people that I went to college at CU Boulder I get the same response. "Lucky punk. You were hitting the slopes every weekend, eh?" They are uniformly aghast when I inform them that I was instead at the library finishing mounds of engineering homework, projects, lab reports, etc. Apparently getting an engineering degree is no excuse for skipping out on champagne powder. Shameful, in fact, that I should turn my back on the plethora of world class resorts a stone's throw from my front yard. Well to all those who chastised me for the choices of my youth, I have this news: I got my degree, I have free weekends and disposable income, I moved back to Colorado, and I've finally learned to ski.
I took a day lesson at Copper Mountain where I didn't get to see much more than the bunny hill, but by the end of the day I was able to make smooth turns without a complete yard sale. I was energized, empowered by my success and hungry for more. When we got home Steve and I managed to find last minute season passes at Arapahoe Basin which also includes five bonus days usable at the other Vail resorts: Breckenridge, Keystone, Vail and Beaver Creek. We then treated ourselves to a merry christmas indeed with new skis, bindings, boots, helmets, and goggles. We could have found much better deals during last August's Sniagrab sales, but in the end we still managed to get about half off of last year's models.
So! One blizzard later we found ourselves out of a trip to New York and wondering how to pass the time until the New Year. Sounded like a perfect excuse to hone my new skills. We went to A-Basin on Christmas Eve and I found the park extremely challenging. A-Basin has a reputation for being quite advanced, with a higher than average ratio of double black runs. There are only a couple of short green runs on which I spent the entire day practicing. Even these greens are wicked steep and would likely qualify as blues at other parks. The day was quite cold, only about 15 degF and miserable winds that froze my lips. It was snowing a bit too, which made it hard to see but at least I got to experience what it's like to swoosh through fresh powder (awesome). All in all it felt like I was running drills all day, but by the end I was starting to get the knack. I also got a great bruise when I fell on the edge of my ski, check it out:
The day after Christmas we head back to the mountains but this time went to Keystone. I found this mountain a lot more forgiving to a newbie like me and before long I was confidently carving my way down the runs. I gathered my courage to try a blue run and never looked back! Steve was delighted by my progress and we had fun tackling different blues all over the park. We went back to Keystone one more time on New Year's Eve where we found hoardes of people, but still had a blast. I even managed to stay vertical, that is, until I got cocky and tried my hand at some moguls. Ugh, what a stupid idea. Steve almost convinced me to go down a black (on my 4th day!) but I was getting tired, the hill was getting icy, and I wanted to end my day on a happy note. Next time. In all, not a bad way to spend the holidays. Also not a bad way to milk our money's worth out of some pricey season passes.