Kristin and I got invited to go to Vail with Ted and Julie. We had an absolute blast, but I wish I had spent more time on my skis before venturing out West. Ted was so excited prior to our arrival that I thought he was going to piss himself. He may have...I didn't really ask for details. The source of this excitement was the fact that Blue Sky Basin would be opening up for the first time this year on the day we were arriving. With over 8 feet of snow in November, this meant lots of fresh powder to ski.
Remember how I just took up skiing less than a year ago? Yeah.
Having never skied in powder before, I assumed it would be similar to other skiing, just more...powdery. Not so much. Shit's hard! On our way to the "back bowls" was a moderately steep, ungroomed run. The top was super crusty, with really light powder underneath. The first time I tried to turn, only one ski went where it was supposed to, while the other went the opposite direction. I did the splits, went head-first into the snow, and lost both my skis. Long story short, it took me 40 minutes to navigate my way down that hill. Shameful. By the time we got to the "fresh powder", it wasn't quite so fresh anymore.
Halfway down, I somehow found myself at the top of a cliff, which sucked. At that time, Ted came flying by and declared, "Oh, Taylor, I was hoping you wouldn't be in here." Oops. It took me a bit to figure out how to get around it, but I finally made my way to the bottom. Ted had completed 3 runs in that time. *Sigh* I suck. It should be noted that Ted is some sort of skiing superstar, which highlighted by suckage.
Fortunately (for the sake of my pride), Kristin also sucked at skiing. She just picked up skiing last year as well, and she was having major confidence issues and just wasn't having fun. That was a major bummer, since the main point of this trip was to celebrate her birthday. On our 3rd day there, she finally decided to switch back to snowboarding and had a much better time.
I found there are a lot of similarities between skiing and mountain biking. The most obvious being that you need to fully commit to your line/jump/trick in order to be successful. I spent far too much time skiing tentatively, but I started to figure it out as the trip went on. I'm about as good at skiing now as I ever was at snowboarding, and I'm hoping that I'll keep getting better with more experience. And bigger balls.
Kristin after our first day of skiing. That shit's tiring!Great view! The mountains are pretty, too.
The switch to 'boarding went much better
My cousin, Erica, and her boyfriend live in Denver and came to see us for the day.
The best part of the day: beers après ski!
If I ever get invited back again (hint-hint), I think I would do a few things differently. I would get skis designed for big mountain skiing, and I would get a lot more time in on my skis prior to leaving. Hopefully my progress will continue throughout the winter.
This was one of the coolest trips I've been on, and was a fantastic experience. Also, my helmet had speakers in it, and my playlist for the trip was perfect. At least I get the important things right!