Monday, March 10, 2008


Colorado is certainly a bit different from where I've been traveling recently. Came out here to do some skiing for a few days on my way back to down south. Luckily, the plane tickets I'm using afford me the opportunity throw some variation into the trip.

So, hadn't skiied in 8 years until last Thursday. Last time was in Utah, which turned out to be a very memorable and fun experience, much better than anything I ever skiied back east. Colorado turned out to be very similar. Started out skiing in Aspen. Aspen, incidentally, is a very nice little town but very expensive as you might expect. So Thursday I skiied at Buttermilk Ski Resort there in Aspen. Buttermilk is where the hold the Winter X-Games every year. Buttermilk has plenty of beginner terrain so that was great for me as I was pretty unsure of myself starting out, but I managed to get it going after awhile and finished the day without battering myself too badly.

Friday my friend Jill and I went up to Snowmass (a nearby resort). Snowmass is pretty huge with a ton of runs and something like 3000 acres in the ski area. Most of that terrain I of course never got to see since my skills are so rudimentary. Anyway, Jill is a snowboarder and she thankfully decided to teach me. I never really liked skiing all that much because me knees always felt so vulnerable to twisting, so I was happy to take on snowboarding, which seemed to me to be a little safer on the knees, albeit more dangerous for the wrists.

My first hour snowboarding (if you would call what I was doing snowboarding) was pretty rough. I couldn't really even stand up or walk with one foot latched-in, much less get down the mountain. The way you have to contort your body to drag the snowboard around on level-ground really took some getting used to. But after awhile and some help and advice I did ok. Even managed to get off the ski-lift every time without least not falling in the immediate vicinity of the unload area, although I´m pretty sure I caused an old man to fall by cutting in front of him. By the end of the first day I was linking my turns fairly well, meaning I could turn the board either direction continuously as I came down the hill. Had some rough spills, including one where I hit the back of my head and probably would've knocked myself out but for my helmet...I was still feeling that one a couple days later.

Second day snowboarding was a little better...I probably only fell 30 times as opposed to 100 the first day, and I was falling forward rather than backward normally. My final day on the slopes here I decided to move back to skis since I was going with my cousin Jim who had skis I could use. After one really uncomfortable trip down the mountain on skis I decided I had to go back to snowboarding. My body just could not get used to the skis after the snowboard. I doubt I'll ski again. After three days snowboarding I would say I'm competent, although still prone to accidents at any moment. A little more rest between sessions would've probably been a big help as my body was really hurting all over after the first day and the subsequent days didn't help ease the pain any....

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