Sunday, February 13, 2011

I'm a LebowSKI, you're a LebowSKI

I conquered another resolution (“ski at least one time this year”) by heading up to Mammoth with some friends and no-danger strangers for a ski weekend. We packed up the car, spent way too much time on the road, marveled at the quirkiness of the small Mojave Desert towns and odd roadside attractions, listened to 78 of the 1103 songs on Dave’s “California Driving Mix” and made it up to Mammoth by the early evening on Friday.

Our friend Geoff scored an awesome condo super close to the mountain, and we gladly stayed in Friday night, cooked dinner (well, Alyssa cooked dinner and we kept her company), and played some mellow board games. Dave and Geoff revealed their heretofore unadvertised Boggle skills; they were so successful at this game that I am convinced Barbri must have made it a mandatory subject for LSAT test prep.
It's not a mountain rental if there aren't vintage skis hanging.

So the condo was about 25 yards away from Canyon Lodge (one of the lodge’s/ski lift areas on the mountain), and we were able to walk to the rental location and ski lesson Saturday morning. Although I originally intended on taking a lesson by myself, mostly for the same reasons that dogs choose to die alone, Alyssa joined me for a beginning lesson and it was great. We were able to get in some valuable one-on-one time during our little breaks, or as we were side stepping up a bunny slope. 
Alyssa and I conquer the mountain

not too cool for ski skool

Gear heads

Alyssa moved on to a higher skill level group after lunch, and I had to start limiting my talk of the après-ski margarita. By all accounts, it was a successful ski day for me, though I don’t really feel like I’m skiing for real yet. Mostly we just followed the leader slowly (and widely) down the easy-breezy green hills without our poles. I am getting more comfortable, and I’m hoping that the third time I do this, I can start calling it “fun.” Our young instructor kept exclaiming how wonderful it was to teach adults, which highlighted the fact that most of the time, people at my skill level are still unable to fully pronounce the "th" sound.

Good news is, I didn’t fall at all, except for when a snow boarder ran into me and we crumbled together to the snow. Although it didn't hurt, he really should have apologized because I was clearly going slow enough for him to see and avoid me as he barreled down the mountain from above. Am I ignorant about "mountain etiquette?" Are you not supposed to admit fault, like in a car accident? Aside from that minor incident, I still haven’t fallen at all while skiing. Not once last year, not once this year. I’m starting to wonder if that’s a bad thing (because I’m not taking risks, and because I’m straining my thighs in an isometric pizza position almost the entire time). Should I make it a point to fall on my third ski trip? Cringe...

The best part for me was finishing the day with a smile on my face, meeting up with the non-remedial kids at the outdoor bar that was blasting Journey and having Dave hand me a margarita before I could even sit down. Bliss. Imagining that drink had kept me going throughout the lesson, though the pinched ankles and strained knees and chapped lips.

Aside from all that, Mammoth was really a beautiful place. Driving back, I honestly can say I have never seen that much snow in real life. It was awesome, and I would definitely do it again (though I might spring for a plane ticket next time- no offense to Mojave, the city).

1 comment:

  1. It was a ball! Would love to do it again sometime with you!