Sunday, January 27, 2013

even still

I hadn't been skiing in a couple of weeks.  Recovering from a cold, then Jack was sick and recovering.  But on Friday I announced to myself that I was going skiing this weekend.  If not both Saturday and Sunday, at least one of them.

Today, Jr, Danielle, Jack, and I headed up to Alta.  As we drove towards the canyon, a few flakes started swirling around.  Then we drove into the fog.  Neither of these are unusual this winter.  We frequently drive through clouds and snow only to pop out into the clear bright sunshine when we get to the top of the canyon.

Today was different.

At some point, we probably should have done more than merely comment on the high volume of slowly moving vehicles headed down the canyon.  We probably should have noticed the amount of snow that was sticking to the roads.  We probably should have realized something was up when there was all kinds of parking close to the lift.  But we didn't.  Or at least I didn't think twice about it.  I was excited to get on the mountain.

We hopped out of Jr's SUV and that's when I noticed.  The weather was fierce.  There were gusty winds blowing snow everywhere.  There was hail-like snow falling and blowing everywhere.  There were clouds and fog and no sunshine to be found.

But that didn't stop us.  We donned our gear and headed to the lift.  Where there was no line.  At all.

Another possible clue, but all I could think was it was great and we were on the lift in no time.

The lift ride seemed slower than usual, but that may be because of the hail and wind.  We were all bundled up, so it wasn't like we were cold.  Mostly I started to be a bit concerned because my glasses kept fogging up.  Being able to see the terrain is a big confidence booster to me.

We slid off the liftchair at the end of the ride and started down the mountain.  It was slippery.  Probably seems silly to say that, but there is slippery and then there is SLIPPERY.  This was SLIPPERY.  I suspect there was ice under the freshly fallen--maybe six inches or more--powder?  It was hard to tell because my glasses were fogged up and covered with little hail droplets.

Okay, yes, I fell.  Once.  Not a big head-over-heels tumble.  Just a slipping, twisting, on my butt quick and would have been hard and painful--but for that beautiful powder. 

Yes, it was crazy weather.  Yes, I fell.  Yes, it took us nearly 3 1/2 hours to drive down the canyon.

But still.  It was good to be outside.  Moving.  Breathing deeply.

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