Saturday, December 20, 2003

Ski ing (ske'ing) 1. n. the art of catching cold and going broke while rapidly heading nowhere at great personal risk.

What an amzing week we had. We arrived in Lack Placid somewhere around 11am on sunday. Lori and I decided that we wanted to ski that day while Kelly and John just wanted to relax so we went and picked up our lift tickets and Lori and I went out skiing. Now, note this about me. I am a decent skier but I dont know much about the equipment used. Typically when I went skiing, I went to the rental shop and they gave me what I needed. So, when I bought skis for me, Lori, and Tiff, I didnt have an extremely good idea of what I was doing. I knew a little about lengths and such but that was about it. Since Lori hadnt skied in about 9 years she wanted to head to the bunny slope to get some practice before we went up the hill. I was quite embarrased when she made it down on the first shot and I fell about 4 times on the bunny slope. I really had no idea what was going on. Later I found out that the skis I bought myself were not parabolic, which is what rental shops give you. The skis I bought were designed for advanced skiers and have a completely different turning radius. This is actually good. Once I got used to my skis I liked the way they performed alot better than the parabolic onces. It worked out well because it turns out I bought lori and tiff parabolics and myself non-parabolics.... Lori and Tiff needs those skis, I dont. After a few runs down the bunny slope, I got the hang of it and Lori and I were ready to go up the mountain. We got on another lift and started riding up..... I didnt think it was ever going to end. It was probably about a 10 min ride up.... it just kept going.... and Lori and I were both thinking it was over... we were dead.... turns out, we were close to being right. When we got the top we didnt see any green circles (for those of you who arent familiar with skiing, green circle means easiest, blue square is next, and the black diamond is the worst and then they go up from there to double and triple black diamond). We ended up going down a blue square path.... I wasnt worried but Lori was. We started down the slope and conditions were pretty icy.... this was not good for our first real run of the day. Both Lori and I were going at pretty fast speeds, we hit a steep part and ahead we ... well, we really didnt know where to go.... about 5 trails came together and like 3 split apart from there. I semi-intentionally fell because I didnt know where to go. As I wiped out I heard a scream from behind me. This was Lori. Next thing I know I look out of the corner of my eye and Lori is rolling down the hill, then slides and stops pretty much right beside me. We turn around and look to see our skis about 50 feet up the mountain... Ok, so now we know our bindings are working properly :) At that point Lori got yelled at by another skier because she wasnt good enough to ski.... I didnt really get that because ... well, I wont go there.... it did upset me though. From that point Lori and I found a green circle and continued down the mountain that way. By the time we got to the bottom, we were shot. Not only did the wipe outs take alot out of us but we had just been driving all night. We all went to the motel and got settled and took a nap.
The next day was pretty much a full day of skiing for all of us. We went back up the mountain and this time found a green circle down and went that way. Nothing extremely exciting happened today other than Lori and I found a jump.... I made the jump a couple times and eventually convinced Lori to try it.... she wiped out but was still glad that she tried it. That night we went back to the motel, went next door to the grocery store and got stuff to drink and a pack of cards and we played cards all night. This was of course after the almost 3 feet of snow fell. It made great skiing conditions for that day but was a heck of a time getting around. It was really awesome though!
The next day Lori, John, and Kelly decided they were going to snow board. I, being the smart one, decided to stay on skis. For the first half of the day I left my poles gloves and everything at the bottom of the bunny slope and skied only with a camera, taking pictures of everyone falling. It was actually great fun for me. After a while I decided to head up the mountain. This is where I finally became the skier that I remembered being. I was skiing down blue squares... very hard ones at that, without falling. I even did the slope that Lori and I wiped out on... no problems. After this day Kelly and John decided to snow board the rest of the trip. Lori went back to skis and her and I kinda stuck with each other alot, until I went back up the mountain to ski some more blue squares.
The next day was Thursday.... this was the day I almost died. I had decided that since I was back to the skiing ability I had, I was going to climb little whiteface and ski down it. If I remember right, the elevation of little whiteface is about 3800 feet. There is a gondola that traveled from the lodge up to the summit which we all rode up (without equipment) previously to just see the sites and then rode back down. Thursday, the day I decided I was going to do this, it was windy and they had to close the gondola down. When we went up before there was a ski lift that came right up beside the gondola. I noticed that another ski lift was running and it appeared that that lift went up to little whiteface.... it didnt. I got off the lift and realized I had NO clue where I was at. I asked the lift attendant what the easiest way down was.... he kinda just looked at me.... I said "they are all black diamonds, arent they" and he shook his head. He told me my best bet was probably going down the center slope. I tried... I really did try.... after wiping out twice before I made it 5 feet, I decided that I was going to slide down the slope on my butt.... I figured this was safest. I used my one pole to release the binding on my first ski... and yes, you guessed it... my ski took off down the mountain. It went about half way down the slope. Now not only am I going to have to slide down the mountain but Im going to have to aim myself so that I can pick up my ski. While holding my other ski, I release that binding and in just a few seconds I'm off... sliding down the slope, on my butt, out of control. When I say out of control, I mean OUT OF CONTROL! I was extremely scared. I couldnt stop myself at all. Finally I hit my ski that had went down before me and it stopped me. About half way down the slope I saw a path that went through the woods that had a blue square on it.... I chose this route. By this point, my ankles hurt extremely bad. I made it over to the main blue square path and skied down the mountain and met up with Lori and Kelly. I told them my adventure and they laughed... for quite a while. This was our last day of skiing. We were to check out of our motel at 10am on Friday. I decided that Lori and I were going to get up at 7am so I could be at whiteface by 8am so I could take one ride up the gondola and one run down the mountain. I did this.... and I did it well. I fell twice but they were stupid falls and mainly caused because I didnt know where I was going. I made it down the entire mountain with only 2 falls and having complete control It was awesome and I was glad that I went back to experience it. We drove back to the motel, loaded up the van, checked out, and we were off to town. We made one last stop in town to get a few things and then began our drive back to Lock Haven.
It was an awesome trip. Some great skiing! We did some other things... once night we went to see "Mystic River" which was a pretty good movie. We did some shopping down town in Lake Placid.... and played alot of cards and watched alot of TV. We had an AMAZING trip. Hopefully we can do the same thing next year.

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