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Day 4 – Red Means Go, Right? (or I Couldn’t Stop On Red) (12/30/07) January 13, 2008

Posted by Q in Friends, Travel, Wharton.

Today I had my second lesson. This time we moved back to the original slope we were supposed to be on (apparently that whole van things was because the mini-lift at this slope was busted). The lesson went kind of well. I got a bit bored at times because we were going kind of slow – the nature of groups lessons.

Well this lesson inflated my confidence. After only two lessons on the bunny hill I decided that I was ready for the big boy slopes. I quickly realized that turning is a valuable skill to have when skiing. Ha! Actually I was okay. I took the blue hills pretty well (I guess they are like the greens in the States, maybe?) I couldn’t turn sharply – you know, the parallel ski turns – so i would just steer to avoid people and bumps as I came flying down the hill. Then on the flat bits I would snowplow to a stop, catch my breath and wait for Kedar to catch up on his board. πŸ™‚

Again maintaining this rate of inflation in confidence my dumb behind decides it’s okay to go with Kedar and our Italian friends down a red slope (like the next level from green – but before black) And thats when my life and all the I hold dear flashed before my eyes – ha! I was okay for the first two thirds (although I called on the name of the Lord quite loudly a few times – and it wasn’t in vain). Then came the big hill! Oh, and the fricken bumps!! [aside: another lesson I learned was that there aren’t really many escape routes once you start down a slope] So I start down the big hill, again gaining speed on the fricking packed snow-ice. i was trying disparately to avoid bumps. One was entirely unavoidable. I hit it dead on and was flailing in the air for a second (says Kedar, who was seated halfway down the slope, after falling, and watching the drama unfold – you gotta hear his version, it’s great!). I land the jump! Then I lookup at a sea of people and panicked, lost what little control I had, bailed off my skis and tumble for what seemed like 4 or 5 hours, 300 or 400 miles.

I always wondered whether I would be able to keep wits about me if I ever had a crazy accident or was in a wild and uncontrolled environment. Turns out i can. πŸ™‚ I don’t remember everything, but i do remember seeing the people, yelling something unintelligible (whether you speak English or Italian i am sure you would be confused) and beginning to tumble. Here’s where the wits come in: i controlled my tumble – for the most part. I am pretty sure I just panicked and instead of trying to stop, which was almost impossible at this point, i just bailed. I took the impact on my right shoulder and rolled.

I distinctly remember thinking to roll and not try to stop rolling until my momentum had slowed. I looked right at Kedar as I passed him in slow motion. Finally I slid to a stop face down, goggles half off, and skis who knows where. (i was later informed that i just had a yard sale πŸ™‚ ) Somehow all this craziness ended up feeling fun (well accept for the shoulder – but it will be fine.)

After thanking the kind Italians who brought my skis for each side of the slope, laying in snow for a bit, discovering my injured shoulder while trying to get up, and then lying back down, Kedar and I walked the rest of the way down the side of the hill . Crazy me wanted to put my skis back on and finish but Kedar wouldn’t let me; he carried them the rest of the way. I did have to put them on to get on the chairlift (which i mastered on the first try, by the way πŸ˜‰ ). From the chairlift I took closed lift back down to the valley and, needless to say, hung up my skis for the day.

Dinner was chill, at the hotel. Afterward, a couple of us went out to grab a drink. We tried three different places but all were pretty packed. We ended up a nice place across the lake from our hotel. I tried flavored grappa – much like flavored vodka. I think I will stick with the straight, quality stuff.

Hope the shoulder feels better tomorrow.



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