My brother-in-law Peter, my LA brother-in-law, invited me to join him skiing in Colorado with Jay, one of my Wisconsin brothers-in-law (the third one was lolling around somewhere in Costa Rica), and I jumped on it. I love skiing, the bros-in-law are fun, sorta. And the lodging was free (Peter’s brother’s vacation home—amazing). So, sign me up. We’d just had a week of super-sub-zero weather so I thought, hey, this’ll be like a trip to, well, Costa Rica. It was not.
Snowmass, CO. . . I believe it was -1 when we arrived to the ski hill the first morning. So, no, the banana trees were not in bloom. What I had failed to grasp was that not only were they younger than I, they were waaaay better skiers than I am. Think walruses skiing with gazelles.
We made a couple of preliminary trips down one or two of the hills (They, streaking like greased lightening; me, windmilling my way down, whooping and shrieking like Goofy) and then, on the recommendation of some lunatic riding with us on the lift, took a freaking interminable hike up another hill, in ski boots, carrying our skis to some goddam place called “Long Shot.” I recall my alarm level rising dramatically as what was supposed to be a “quick 100 yards” mushroomed into a full on quarter mile trek—UPHILL AND IN SKI BOOTS—at the very least.
Eventually, and not without a great deal of effort, panting and anxiety, I reached them waiting impatiently for me at the summit. I did not, as I wanted to, lie sobbing in the snow and beg to be shot. Instead I gamely plunged down the slope with them into what I was pretty sure would be my final act of insanity, er, bravery. This run was 5 full miles of panic, punctuated with occasional hysterical whimpering, hyperventilating and some extremely heartfelt prayer, ok, bargaining with God. They went ahead without me at my insistence. It was a win for all of us. They got a great run in and I made it down alive.
I may have had icicles of tears frozen to my face but I did not fall once.
Me, in my foolish innocence imagining I could ski about to embark on my first run.
The demon hill. Hundred yards my goddam ass. That’s the path to the top on the left.
And my brothers-in-law waiting for me.
Despite the fatigue, the terror, and cold, I somehow stopped to take pictures.
The sign says “You are 3/4 way down.” I was like ARE YOU GODDAM SHITTING ME??!!!
Me with Frick and Frack