The first time I experienced going alone on a ski trip, I was actually in a relationship. We had this backlogged argument that burst out of the blue a few days before our trip…and things just went downhill (skiing) from there. We didn’t speak until the departure date came, and I assumed she was going to show up at the airport.
Well, she didn’t. So I had to go by myself 🙁 .
This was a very different situation than all the other articles I’ve written on the subject here -because in this case- I wasn’t ready…at all! So needless to say, I was very sad. I was dragging my feet all the way to our wonderful ski hut, which now seemed way too big.
The first night was just blahprtjdfooo…I felt as if my skin color had actually changed to gray…to reflect how I was feeling inside. The next morning I was up early, as I couldn’t really sleep, and I decided to do something I had never done before:
Be the FIRST at the top of the slopes!!
Call it childish, but just like that, I had an objective! (I have an image of a horse and a carrot right about now.) So there I was, at the front of the line, surrounded by all these people who had the same plan as I did. And just like that, I am now bathed in the feeling of community! My gosh, my morning is going great! I went from zero, to having a purpose, to belonging to a clan!
The cable car arrived and we all got in following the same protocol Holstein cows do when the farmer opens the gates. It was a mess. Everyone albeit politely but in a very moooish way nudging for position. I normally hate this crap, but that morning, I was loving it!!! The ride up was tense. This was not like your 10:47 car where everyone is talking about their new packs, the wax they used on their skis, what they are going to have for lunch….none of that. You could hear every squeak from the steel cables and every whistle from the wind. No one was saying a word.
As the cable car slowed down, we all grabbed our gear like Spartans about to invade. The doors opened. Now here’s a thing if you’ve never skied before…at this point in the story, everyone is wearing ski boots. If you’ve never worn them, walking in ski boots is akin to walking with two waffle irons strapped to your feet. Back to the doors. They opened, and all those waffle irons spat out of the cable car, we all took a hard left…we lost about half of the crew on that first turn, others slipped and lost position, and now we were just a handful left. I had no choice, I had to take risks.
I started increasing my stride to the point I was leaping, which later blended into a medium level pole vault motion with the skis…it wasn’t pretty…but it had me at the front…by a hair. As luck would have it, the guy behind me dropped half his gear, and created a massive pile up. I turned back and it looked….perfect. Skis everywhere, boots in the air, and brand new ski suits covered in slush. I leapt or vaulted no more. This gold medal was mine.
I strolled elegantly into the most magnificently manicured ski slope I have ever seen in my life. At night, ski resorts run these huge snow tractors that “comb” the snow…so when you step into that freshly groomed mountain side the next morning, you see this image of immaculate perfection, all the way to the bottom. Untouched, unblemished, it’s simply perfect.
Right ski….click….left ski…click… And there I went, for the first time in my life, I skied a truly perfect slope.
This experience has been with me on every solo ski trip I’ve done since. Everything I see, I want to see more of, every carve of the slope makes me want to do it again…to feel the grip of the snow under my skis grabbing me by the ankles as my body slices through the wind. The awe and wonder I felt as I was staring down the mountain that day, made me one with it. I couldn’t ask for a better companion.
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