I tried skiing a long time ago and quit it a long time ago also. It was kind of expensive, hard to get to the slopes, slippery roads, potential for long plunges into deep canyons, and cold. The rented gear didn’t fit very well, the boots hurt, and it took a lot of dedication to get any good at it.
Skiing has always had a bit of a hey, look at me aspect to it. I think for most it was more something to brag about having done when folks got back home. The best skiers were rarely the best dressed.
For me, the worst thing about skiing was the assorted ski bunnies and ski dudes from the flatlands (flatlands—that’s everywhere else where mountains weren’t) who couldn’t figure out how to get off the lift chair without falling down on that little hill at the end of the ride. Plop, down they tumble…the lift stops…dozens of others behind the tumbling geeks left dangling in their lift chairs, impatient and cold.
Of course the views from the tops of those runs are often dramatic and beautiful. And the trip down the run can be exhilarating, or they can be long and taxing if the tip of one of your skis snaps off on some moguls. Well, you get the idea.
After one last, excruciating ride up to the top of Loveland Pass (abt. 13,000’) on a particularly cold and windy afternoon, stopping for every chair advance to wait for the stumbling flatlanders to pick themselves up and clear the dismount area, I decided once and for all that, for me, skiing wasn’t enough fun to keep enduring all the discomfort and agitation. And that was my last time to go skiing…I liked warm places better anyway.
Over the years you tend to revisit things you once did and decided to do no more, sometimes wondering if you made a good decision to stop. But rarely does such a remarkably clear illustration of the thing that turned you off in the first place appear in print. This flatlander ski dude was at Vail this past January.
I would venture the thought that this dude had never been able to get off the lift without tumbling down on that little dismount hill and that he always went home to a suburban neighborhood where he never missed an opportunity to regale his neighbors with stories of his recent "ski trip."