At the end of 2014 I had decided that I would embrace winter once again and join the many who venture to the slopes of the mountains. I became a ski bunny. It had been 13 years since I was on skis of any sort and my downhill legs were calling to me.
I spoke with my friends at my favorite Recreational Equipment retailer about my new drive to become friendly with the swish and slalom that goes with the winter sport. They were more than helpful as usual. The abundance of questions they asked honed me in to where I needed to start. How long has it been? What level of skiing did I used to do? What were my old skis? What is my skiing aggression level? What kind of skiing would I see myself doing and more. With each question I realized that skiing had changed in the past 13 years. A Lot!
From ski width to length, to boots and helmets, everything was brand new to how the slopes are approached today. The entire time I was in questioning the associate had a smile on his face. Everyone around that was listening in for tidbits of information were also mentioning that skiing has changed a lot, and that I was really going to like it.
I tried on many boots and found a pair that felt like they were a part of my legs instead of a cement block attached to my foot (Diabello – Boss). I purchased Rossignol Experience 88’s, and a Giro Combyn helmet, smartwool baselayers and a Patagonia ski jacket. I actually found my old bag of ski gear which had two sets of Smith goggles (which apparently are not as cool as the goggles of today), and some Burton gloves. I also had stashed away a pair of Columbia ski pants that still fit like they did way back then (one of the many perks of staying athletic). The last purchase I made was a season ski pass to Mt Hood Meadows. I mean, if I was going to do this, then I was going to do this right, right?
With ID in hand and all my gear ready, my friend picked me up on New Years Eve morning to go to my first ski resort in over a decade. I was excited and nervous. Not only was this a new mountain to me, but everything on my body was new and even the terminology of the mountain was new, for I was about to Shred the Bunny Slope! Watch Out Bitches!
We started slow, the magic carpet ride, in which I was the 2nd tallest person on it besides my friend. I thought, if these little kids can do this, so can I. We spent the day working our way up each ski lift progressively moving our way towards the summit. I didn’t fall once, though they had to shut down the ski lift once for me as I almost ran over one of the attendants. He had walked out onto the path and I had already started going, in my attempt to avoid him, I crossed my skis and ended up off to the side. Oops!
The first day back was great. The sun was out, it was cold, but my gear kept me quite warm. I gained a load of knowledge about my approach to skiing as my friend was extremely helpful in giving direction and pointers for me to work on. I was challenged and had a lot of fun. The views from the mountain and lift were astounding. I could see clearly all the way to Mt Bachelor with the Three Sisters and Mt Jefferson snow capped and visible. It always makes me smile to see them knowing that just a few short months ago I hiked from there.
All in all, it was an excellent first day back on the slopes!