Sunday, February 2, 2020

The inevitable presence of gravity

Sometimes it seems like winter is all there is, that summer does not really exist. That this is all there will ever be, the sound of our skis cutting through a light crust, snow falling lightly.  It is not unreasonable to think this, since the mountains have been shrouded in snow since September, and we have been skiing for over three months. February and March are usually the snowiest months, and it seems like this is on track for 2020 as well.

I strap on my gaiters, circa 1997. Unfortunately one foot strap has broken. What to do? I see one of J's gaiters has the same problem. So I take one of both. Though not stylish, I thought this was brilliant. Why buy new if you don't have to?

We head out on the trails. New snow has fallen over a crust, which makes the conditions fast but treacherous. The Devils View loop has some significant hills, but I have skied them before and am sure I can do so again. When I first moved here I was afraid of this loop, but now it seems less difficult. We find a friend skiing alone and loop her into our group. On the ridge, a fragile sun appears.

We are skiing through the cut-off when suddenly I fall. I'm not even on a big hill. I land awkwardly in a position from which it is difficult to untangle. It takes my companions to help me up. That is the only thing I have noticed about getting older: it is harder to get up. 

We decide to do the loop one more time, to take advantage of the track we have made. "This is going to be fast," C says as she tucks into the descent. I hurtle along until I divot into the hillside. Another fall! This time my foot is bent back oddly, making it challenging to get up. I struggle to my feet, making a big crater.  C is waiting ahead so I ski on.

Finally we decide we've skied enough and head for the parking lot, down a final steep slope. You guessed it! I fall again! I have now fallen more times in this single skiing outing than I have in the past several years combined. 

Covered in snow, I ski soberly back to the car. Sometimes the snow is like that. With three more months of winter, I have plenty of time for redemption.

Pre-falls, still feeling confident


  1. Oh, I so wish you could loop me into the loop, as you did your friend. A sweaty, humid 37C here today. I'm sure you were still smiling at the end of the day!

    1. It's hard to imagine temperatures that hot!

  2. Sorry but I cannot help but chuckle! I love being covered in snow! Glad you are OK after the falls.

    1. The other day I was skiing along happily and a woman came walking toward me. As I was about to say hello I unexpectedly fell. Perfect timing!


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