Last Part

It’s Wednesday and we have already had an action packed week but we are going for one more fling – snowboarding. We leave earlier than usual, we want to make sure we get a spot this time. The trip us is uneventful. We make a beeline for the rental line. Today there are only 10 slots, we are #7 & 8. After getting our equipment we put on our boots and take our boards over to a hill that is about 2 ft high and 15 feet long and take our first ride. If you go down the hill on skis your are a skier, if you go down on a board you are a rider.

After strapping on the board, we are able to slide down our 2ft mountain will relative ease. Getting up to the top again was a slightly different story. It’s like wearing a giant skateboard that wants to point off to the side while pushing and hopping with the other foot. After a couple of runs we take a break, we are still not used to the altitude. Then we assemble at the ski school meeting place with the other newbies. We are a mixed bunch. I am clearly the oldest although there is another man there with his daughter.

Our instructor, Jason shows up and dude, he’s stoked about teaching us. Turns out most of us are from Texas although there are 2 girls from Japan who don’t speak much English. Jason figures out the names of half of us. With some prompting he remembers Katie’s name but I have been relegated to “dad”. He takes us over to the practice hill, it is the 2ft one Katie and I were practicing on earlier. Our confidence bolstered, he herds us over to the bunny hill chair lift.

I have been skiing for over 30 years and I can unequivocally state that the bunny hill is the most terrifying place on a ski mountain. There are tears, screams, anxiety attracts and hopeless despair and that just covers the parents, ski instructors and lift operators. If you already know how to ski you are still scared because you know the damage an adolescent boy or a 20 something wanabe ski-bunny can do when the urge to “just do it” overcomes common sense. One by one we mount the lift and view the carnage below that will soon claim us.

For the next 2 hours our instructor has us try and ski about 30 yards make a turn and stop. It’s usually that last part that gets tricky. There are a couple of girls that are having a real hard time. The rest of us lay on the snow waiting for our turn. We resemble a yard sale after a storm. Katie is doing great, she is getting the hang of it. Just as important, she is able to pop right up when she needs to get off the snow. The lunch time break is upon us. We are only sore in 2 places, the front and the back. When you fall on a snowboard there are two options, a face plant or a butt slam. You might be able to save your face if you sacrifice your knees and wrists. Your behind is garneted to take a pounding.

Our 1 hour lunch seemed to last about 2.5 minutes. Back at the lift, our numbers have diminished, several of our classmates have thrown in the towel. The snow is picking up and starting to blow. We are making multiple turns before we assume the yard sale position. I am able to handle the turning and stopping but the getting up off the snow is killing me. I begin to ski to the bottom without stopping and wait for them at the lift. Jason pays me the ultimate complement, “dude! are you sure you have never done this before?” I tell him “noway dude”. Katie is really enjoying herself she likes snowboarding even more than skiing. We take a few runs by ourselves, the class is disintegrating. It’s a full blown snowstorm now. We are ready to pack it in.

We make it, lasted the whole day. It’s a long walk back to the rental hut. After returning our gear we make our way to the car. With some trepidation we start it and make our way out of the parking lot. Down the mountain, past Nederland Middle High School and back to Boulder we teeter back and fourth between satisfaction and exhaustion.

4 hotel nights and food $400, car repair $1000, cheeseburgers and cokes in the ski lodge $23, one of the most memorable vacations of all time with your daughter – priceless.

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