(All right, how could I NOT blog this … )
Sh*t Skiers Say
So, before I vanish into the Bermuda Triangle of work for a week, a funny story from my ski vacation …
On one of the days that my friends took a break from boarding, I signed up for a ski lesson. There was only one other girl in my group, and the instructor took us all over the mountain into these hidden caches and trails and it was pretty awesome. Near the end of the day, he decided to take us over to Spanky’s Ladder (I should’ve asked how in the world they came up with that particular name), which is about a 30-foot hike up a steep incline to a pass (marked with a blue square on the map) from which one can drop down to some glacier skiing on the other side.
The hike looked bad enough already at the end of a day haring all over the more challenging parts of the mountain, but in order to climb Spanky’s Ladder, one has to take one’s equipment off on a slope (marked with a blue circle on the map). Though the hill that descends from the base of Spanky’s is not quite as steep as the hiked portion itself, the incline is still plenty deep as I’ll discover.
After a caution from the instructor not to let our skis get away from us as we take them off, I removed one ski and started taking off the other one. Just a little above me, a snowboarder had changed his mind about going up Spanky’s, and was putting his board back on when he slipped.
The snow was fresh and slick that day. In a maneuver worthy of any Three Stooges act, he plowed right into me, and we kept on going, a tangle of limbs and equipment and shrieks as we tried to stop our headlong slide. (Well, headlong for me at least - I don’t know about him, but getting snow up the nose was a memorable experience!)
By the time we actually slid to a stop (see the blue triangle on the map - no joke!), the instructor had skied down with my one unattached ski and remarked, “I think we’re going to have to give up on Spanky’s this time.”
I need to go to bed to make my 6:45 am wake up call, but I forgot to clear out my helmet cam’s cards. While I’m waiting for the videos to download, I’m sharing a derpy video from today (please ignore my insane braying in the background - the bird was trying to steal a croissant right out of a friend’s mouth).
The Harmony lift had opened late and so we were all packed in like sardines waiting, but the birds provided some entertaining pastime! As soon as people caught on as to what was happening, we suddenly had a whole forest of ski poles being thrust into the air, hoping for some to alight - I was lucky and had two!
Too tired to arrange today’s photos and vids. Instead, have a derpy photo of me mock bob-sledding in the Winter Olympics shrine at the top of Whistler peak, where I forgot to take the GoPro helmet camera off the top of my head. (There is also an embarrassing video of me trying to clamber out of the thing with ski boots on but that will have to wait for another day.)
Today dawned wet and rainy at base level, but freezing started partway up the mountain, which meant fresh powder falling from the skies. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to enjoy more than two or three runs, as, for whatever reason, my boots were KILLING me today.
I bought my boots something like six years ago at the equivalent of a ski swap-meet, and they had always been fiddly. I had them drilled, shimmed, re-soled, etc over the years. But I guess with all the different physical activities I’ve been doing lately, my feet have changed shape enough now that they were becoming really intolerable, and I could barely limp my way down to the gondola before taking a ride back down to the base.
I had always been enamored with the concept of the custom-fit boot, even though I had never intended to shell out for their sort of pricetags. Sure Foot was named by three different sources that I asked as the best place to get one done, and without the luxury of more than an hour’s worth of research if I wanted to use the remainder of my pre-paid tickets, I went ahead and got my first custom-fit boots rather than pay half as much already for another set of factory boots.
Well, it turned out to be quite the process! First, they measured my feet within an inch of their lives (now I wish I’d redone my nail polish!), then used a pin-pushing machine to map the sole of my foot and the way my weight is distributed. According to these measurements, the guy selected an appropriate shell, and then started preparing a custom lining and sole. The inner lining is built up from foam - thus, the plastic around my foot and all the tubes running through the boot’s shell - and through various leanings, contortions, discomfort, and outright painful moments, foam was forced into all the spaces around my ankle and foot to create a perfect cast. (In hindsight, this all looks and sounds like some sort of medieval torture method.)
However, even just standing in them, I can say that they already feel three thousand times better than my old boots, so I can’t complain! Even just walking across the hotel parking lot this morning had been excruciating. So, tomorrow, I shall be giving it the real test - we’ll see how long I’ll last on the slopes!
Helloooooooooo from Whistler! :D