Saturday, February 26, 2011

Countin' the years

Today I returned to the Alps for a day of shredding with friends. I hopped on a charter bus at 4:45 am to get there. Killer deal, totally affordable and convenient. Well, these slopes were covered in those pull lifts. They are called téléski. In all my years snowboarding, I've only been on them twice. It got me thinking "how many years have I been riding?" I counted. 17 years. Holy cow. These téléski lifts were brutal. I'll begin by reminiscing about my first experiences using these.

It was my first day on a snowboard, I was eight. The day before, I had been on skis. But I wanted to snowboard like my brothers, so I insisted. My oldest brother was a lifty at a mountain in our vacation spot, so he was more than happy to teach his baby sister. I remember he took me to the bunny slope and that's where those pull lifts tend to dominate in the states. (Must be why I'm not accustomed to them.) Naturally, I fell off the lift. My bro was behind me on the lift and I remember he ran me over with his board. It hurt, I cried. Honestly, that's one of my few memories of the trials and tribulations of learning.

Téléski lift. Not me, and I didn't take this photo.

My second experience with one of those lifts was in Montana several years ago. It was the beginning of the season, on a mountain between Idaho and the Bitterroot Valley. Powder like I rarely see, literally only a few other people there. Only a few lifts running, and when you finished a run, there was a short pull lift system to get you back to the main chair lift. Ok got a little picture in your head? It was wintery, snowing, 15 below (fahrenheit), and 5 feet of the driest powder. This pulley system was with a rope. A flimsy rope, with a knot at the end. Dragging myself up that hill was so brutal and I'll never forget how tired I was. Still the second best snow I've ever experienced.

Today, when I noticed that the téléski pull systems were all over the mountain, I got a nervous feeling. Rightfully so. I approached this ski lift and didn't follow the "go" light, I went too soon. I knew this was going to be a humbling experience. Next I got on, placed that frisbee between my legs and ate it so hard tout de suite. Ok so after I crashed down on my knee- oowww, I tried again. I got a little bit further and fell again, this time it didn't hurt so bad. So the lifty gave me a pointer and I tried again. Yussss, it worked and I made it up! A little while later all my friends caught up with one another and we rejoined this scary lift. I was almost to the top and I noticed one of my friends had fallen off ahead of me, in the process of laughing at him, I fell where he had. Great. Karma seems to serve me right away. So, we went down to try again. I got back on the lift and about half way up, I fell off again! I bombed down the mountain in hopes to catch up with my pals, but I didn't find them. I got back on the lift and fell off towards the beginning, so I didn't lose too much time. Mind you my friends were on skis, so I believe it's a little bit easier for them on those lifts. Just sayin'. I know what you must be thinking at this point, "give it up girl." So again, I try, and make it all the way to the top. Victory! The rest of the afternoon was totally rad. No more falling off the lifts, and totally smooth, fast, flow.

Keep it real. Stay modest.

1 comment:

  1. Happy to see that everything went ,Mom.