A tradition I have often carried is to ski very early on New Year’s Day. Many people have been up late the night before, so I have found that particular morning pretty much crowd-free. Lack of a crowd makes skiing safer and more fun. This year we drove through New Mexico, started the year in a new place continuing our grand adventure.
Today we skied. Just drive about 8 miles uphill to a wonderful Colorado ski resort, “our resort”, Monarch Mountain.
I had confidence the skiing would be nice, the mountain adequate. So, here we are. Standard speed chairs, no high-speed-detachable-quads. Just as well. They wear out your legs fast, but worse, they spit too many people onto the trails at once. More people means the snow wears out faster.
Here today, in this holiday week, we skied right into the queue and rarely waited for even a single pair ahead of us. There is still soft snow on the edges of the trails from a storm three or four days ago. Best of all, terrain.
Trails and trails stretch over and around a well contoured area. The lifts have such simple and informative signs: Beginner lift, Advanced lift. And the grooming! We found plenty on smooth, groomed greens to wake up and re-adapt to this sport.
I always laugh at my first few turns. I can be pretty critical having skied for over 40 years. I have passion for this sport but also the Winter season. I look forward to skiing from the first dreary, cloudy or rainy day of fall. The warm Summer funs are ending and what next? SKI SEASON looms to save the day.
So there I stand at the top of a hill, inching into that first run. Its so familiar, I start to turn and usually end up banking far inside. My body is turning a bike! I haven’t separated my pelvis and hips from my torso. Five or six turns later and it starts working, But slalom racing skis are not forgiving. Flex and edge them and they TURN! REALLY TURN! The radius they pick may be based on what you told them, but if you aren’t ready….kapow, they launch.
Two runs later I begin to remember what I was “working on” last year. No one could see the subtleties being refined and improved, but there is an infinite realm to explore in any sport. With skiing it involves a 3-dimensional interplay with a constantly changing surface.
On skis, I know I belong on this planet. There is a quiet and unencumbered joy. Both of giggle and get to say Weeee…a lot. Can’t wait til tomorrow!
Wow… a whole month for the Tramper to rest? She won’t know how to act. It looks mahvaelous there. I tease Rick that Colorado is on our bucket list — probably the only place outside of PA I really wanted to ever travel too (we’re not big travelers). Idado and Montana look pretty cool too. Be safe on the sticks!
PA is still high on our list for filling the old joy bucket. This place, however, pleases also. The riding can be tough (can’t really check it out right now, too much snow on the ground), I rode when I lived 2 hours North of here in Summit County and did some over two hour climbs. They do have sweepy-nice single track too. Hey, If you guys want to visit here or anywhere on the voyage, we’ll scope out the hotels, hoy springs or whatever and pick you up at the airport. We hope to hit Utah canyons and Moab in Spring, then who knows? We know people at Tahoe, Oregon etc…See how the money lasts?
I never heard the phrase, “snow wears out faster.”
Well…I don’t worry too much, but those who want to make “first tracks” get pretty bummed. Personally I like Blue and green groomed trails now. I can still ski the crap out of bumps and steep colouirs, but I love to ride a carving ski. Making near-perfect train-track ruts from top to bottom is living in the physics. I guess its the most like blasting a smooth, buff single track. No bouncing, just grooving along!
Sounds wonderful! Enjoy a few runs for me!
Thanks Megan! We will. Maybe we can ski together soon.