I had another day on the slopes today. Our summer nanny is back for spring break, and I had a free lift ticket, so I decided to pay for the day of babysitting and go down to Crystal. As always, it was interesting. There are so many weather and snow variables in skiing. Even on the same slope, the experience can be vastly different. Today, the theme was slush. I have never done any spring skiing before, and I now understand why it’s not super popular. I started out with a couple runs on the easiest greens at the bottom of the mountain, and it just wasn’t fun. The problem was that I kept hitting slow patches of snow. My speed would suddenly drop drastically and I would practically go over the front of my skis. It was exhausting and demoralizing. I really felt like I was getting ready to have a nasty wipeout, but I headed to the harder runs at the top of the mountain, and thankfully, the snow was way better up there. It was definitely still slushy, but not nearly as bad. On the one hand, the skiing was noticeably slower, which, when it wasn’t a sudden change in speed, was easier on the steep parts. On the flip side, the snow was just heavy and clunky and messy, which was harder to deal with. By the end of the day, I was feeling much more comfortable on the slush. Still, when I finally went down to the bottom of the hill to go home, the final run close to the bottom where I was warmest and slushiest was pretty unpleasant.
I did the “easy” blue run, Downhill, at least six times, and I felt really confident on it by the end of the day. In some ways, it would be harder if the snow was normal (faster), but I still feel like I made some good progress. Crystal wasn’t at all crowded, and for once I was able to have a long, leisurely lunch indoors instead of an outdoor standing up lunch like I’ve been doing on the weekends. I needed the sitting time because my quads were not enjoying the slush. I was absolutely exhausted by the end of the day. My legs were shaking with fatigue.
My skis are about 12 years old and have never been waxed since I bought them, so I do wonder if that might make a difference.
For the first time, I went on the new gondola, which goes to the top of the mountain. I am not good enough to ski runs from the top – they are harder blues, blacks and double blacks. (I can go about 2/3 of the way up.) Therefore, before the gondola, I couldn’t go to the top. I am not a huge fan of gondolas. It’s interesting. Some people don’t like lifts, or really want the bar down on lifts, because they feel like they’ll fall off. I like the footrest on the bar but otherwise don’t really care one way or the other. I have zero concern about falling. What I don’t like is feeling trapped, and so I much prefer the open air lifts to the claustrophobic gondola. I really didn’t enjoy the gondola because of feeling claustrophobic. With that said, the scenery was stunning near the top and at the top, so I’m glad I got over myself and went up and had a look.
I was just saying to Jonathan that I’m glad we got back into skiing this year. It’s not exactly a hobby we can pursue in our old age, and it’s also a lot harder in most places than it is in Seattle. It’s been great to get out of the rain into the snow, to conquer some of my anxieties, and to get the kids skiing as well.