Friday, February 20, 2009

Spring Corn - or why I quit skiing

John was at Momentum last night, bouldering and hanging out with Nate and Alisha. He was wearing a t-shirt saying something about Spring Corn in the Morning, and we got to talking for a few seconds about that.

About 5 years ago I decided to try taking up skiing again. When I was 19, 20, and 21 I worked at some ski resorts in Wisconsin, skiing about 100 days a year. I was pretty obsessed with it, and could ski some simple black diamonds at western resorts, just like a midwesterner - you start at the top at 12,000' and rip down making little 20' turns for a few hundred feet before passing out.

I got into a family situation with no real resolution, so I ended up not skiing much, maybe 10 times in 15 years, and it was an odd situation, having to adapt to a different mindset - you know, the whole birds in the trees and pine cones crap.

So after passing through a few different situations, I finally ended up 3 years ago trying to really ski, and found out I had no idea how. I mean, on shaped skis you just lean left and right and down you go, right?

Altrec Outdoors - Satisfaction Guaranteed

I managed to get in about a dozen days a year for 2 straight years, and near the middle of last year, I discovered it really wasn't much fun skiing at 10 degrees with 20 mph winds on ice. That's one of the major differences between 30 years ago and now - perpetual ice. I guess it crept up on everyone else, but I, being tossed into the middle of it, noticed real quick.

I guess on a snowboard, if you're totally lost and confused and don't belong on the hill, you sideslip down, leaving a patch of hard crusted snow about 6' wide and 50' long or longer. So skiing at places where lots of clueless boarders go you pass through some loose granular, then into ice, then back into the granular. So an unskilled "noob" like me has to ski one way for 6', then another way for 6' then back and forth all the way down. Every time I hit one of those skid marks my edges slide out from under me and I head for disaster, then recover just as I hit the loose pile of granular and my skis practically stop in their tracks, and then just as suddenly head back into the ice.

I tried skiing only in the granular, but that is tough to do when you're barely in control as it is. Worst of all, my poor mind is still 20 and it's very frustrating skiing like a drunk girl in the 70's, when you used to bomb down black diamonds. LOL

I could just ski at ALTA?

If I were to get better at all, I'd have to invest about 50 days a year into skiing for about 5 years, and that would be tough with any kind of work schedule. So I guess I'll see if I can do that as a retirement project - I could still have "fun" while cruising easy greens well into my 70's. At least "fun" is what I'll call it to avoid sour grapes (and refuse to admit the pine cone fan won).

In the meantime, I think I'll stick to that week or two of spring corn where there is no patch of ice after 10AM or so when the sun hits it.