Hard work on the slopes is much better than hard work at the office, don't you think?
In a move that will probably astound responsible and compassionate parents everywhere, Husband and I deposited a sick Sophie at her grandmother's and took off Monday for a single-day assault on Kirkwood. We set the alarm for 5:00 a.m., confirmed that the Carson Spur was open, and were off. The Sierras had received a pretty good dump of snow, so we had that California combination of good snow and blue skis.
I find Kirkwood sort of annoying because I often feel like I spend the most of the day on a chair lift. There's not many high speed detachables, with many lifts being fairly slow and often short. Why else would so many people be taking off their skis and hiking to get to the good stuff?
They reminded me of this picture of prospective miners heading over the Chilkoot Pass during the Alaskan gold rush.
Anywhoo, what stood out on this trip is that I listened to advice from one of my favorite bloggers, KatieGirlBlue over at The Wasatch Report, who encouraged me on a previous trip to ski hard. And so I did, damnit. I've been sort of down on my skiing lately. Here's the problem: It was scheduled to be a big breakthrough year for me. Husband gifted me with a three-day all-women's ski clinic at Squaw for Christmas, and this was supposed to solve all my ski problems (terrain, bumps, crud). But the whole thing received a few setbacks, in addition to my general age. I had pneumonia right before Christmas, leaving me hacking and spitting down even the groomers. We had no snow and very hard-packed conditions for my class, which means we stuck mostly to the groomers. And then I had my big motor scooter crasheroo, which messed up my knee. I could still ski but stuck to groomers to avoid twisting it and causing further injury. You see common denominator here: GROOMERS. I am Queen of the Groomers, which is not what I want to be. I want to improve and be able to ski on snow as it falls from the sky, not as a machine prepares it for me.
So I skied hard. Husband and I took an intermediate groomer off Solitude for the first run and then headed over to Cornice Express where I totally hacked my way in the most embarrassing mess down an advanced ungroomed run. I was clearly having a head problem, so Husband cut me loose and went over to take a few runs down The Wall. I went back to Solitude, did a groomer off that and decided that was just not what I wanted to be doing. For once I had no kids to keep track of and no friends to either wait for or keep up with, so I decided this would be a work day, reasoning that I have had enough fun already and could have more later. So I went back up Cornice and did the run that gave me trouble again. And again. And again. And it got a little easier every time. And the work started being fun.
I didn't ski that run all day because some friends showed up and Husband came back to fetch me to ski with them, but I did it a lot more than I really wanted to. And later in the day I skied mostly ungroomed runs too, even when there was a groomer available. I'm not saying I'm good at this stuff, but it's a step in the right direction.
Something else that was a little different is that Husband and I went up just the two of us instead of with an entourage requiring elaborately planned carpools and accommodation arrangements. We were both a little down: he with his work situation and me after being cooped up with a sick child and rainy weather for three days. The day provided the space and attitude adjustment we both needed and was a nice reminder that we're more than just house partners and parents of the same great kid. We're best friends and ski buddies.