Sunday, March 01, 2009

Getting back on the horse

I finally got back on the horse and headed for the slopes last weekend...and then again this weekend. Once you start, there is just no stopping. It turns out my old friend/new love, Alan, who had never skied Blacktail (and never let on that he was a skier), looked like a slalom racer blazing down the hill. The first time I saw him in action, all I could think was, "Yikes".

So, yesterday, I did buy myself the promised helmet. My ski outfit is almost complete with only the poles to go. I went without last year, just because, skiing without poles felt very free. My skiing went to hell but it was worth it with less equipment to wrap around the lift chair or catch under my ski. Noting this deterioration of my skiing ability, and having a ski buddy that looked like a pro, I rented poles and took a lesson last week. Voila! Was I ever doing it wrong.

When I headed down the first run yesterday, I worked on my 'homework' of practicing hands out front ("like you're holding a tray") and shifting my weight from the uphill to downhill ski before the turn and keeping my weight forward. It was feeling pretty good after awhile. I didn't biff all day which is a personal record I will probably never beat. Usually, you can recognize me by the amount of snow I'm wearing. Skiing with Robert and Maddie, Terry and Dave and their grandson, Shawn Michael, or waving to them going by on the lift, is just a great way to be with friends.
photo of Flathead Lake and the Mission Mountains by Janice Myers

A bus full of school kids arrived from Browning and they were having a blast chewing up the slopes on boards and skis, some of the younger ones getting lessons on the bunny hill. I thought about what a trip that was for them across the highline, up through the passes and down along the park. They must have left in the dark. That is the obsession for go through anything to get to the ski hill. The bus driver looked as though he was getting a much needed rest to make the drive back, probably also in the dark.

That 14 inches of new powder up there drew us like flies to honey. And sunshine. Nothing beats a place like that in the sun. The valley was shrouded in damp, soupy overcast when we left Polson. Talk about mega depressing. Driving up Blacktail Road was like ascending into heaven, with the hush of whiteness, pine boughs bowed under the load, and a dazzling panorama of non-stop mountain ranges in the distance.
cell phone photo by Al 2/28/09
Up there in the clean, blue air it was hard to imagine a single problem in the world.
Can't you tell by our happy little faces!

1 comment:

Angela said...

Cool! It's really beautiful up there, isn't it? Glad you're having lots of fun on the slopes. Maybe next year I'll give it another go.