By LINDA GOODSPEED
“Oh NO!!” I heard the guide off my left shoulder yell.
Not exactly a comforting sound when you are a blind skier relying on voice commands from your guides behind you.
“DON’T FALL!” yelled the guide on my right.
Easy for you to say, I thought. How do you not fall when your hips are already committed and on the way down? But I could tell from the panic in their voices that I was in trouble. Off balance, I tried to crank my skis around and get them back under me. They were stuck. I couldn’t move them.
“Ooh! GROSS!” I heard guide number one yell.
“DON’t Fall!” number two repeated.
With my skis stuck and far off to the left of my body and my hips coming down, not falling was not an option. I stretched my upper body as far as I could to the right and tried to dive uphill. In slow motion, stretching as far as I could, I landed with a soft thud.
“Whew!” guide number one said, popping out of his skis and running over to me. “You missed it!”
“What IS it?” I asked.
My skis were still stuck and I couldn’t move.
“Mud!” guide number one said, lifting me up by the shoulders. “There’s a huge mud hole here. That’s what your skis are in. It’s like quick sand. Really gross!”
“Mud?!” I exclaimed. “These are new pants!”
“You missed it,” number two said. “I don’t know how, but you missed it.”
The two of them helped me lift my skis out of sticky, oozing mud and clamber up on to snow. Guide number two took a handful of snow and started washing my skis and boots off.
“What about my pants?” I asked. “These are new pants!”
“They’re fine,” number two said. “Not even a drop!”
By now, we had a crowd around us.
“Unbelievable!” I heard someone say. “Look at the size of that mudhole. It’s right on the edge of the trail!”
“I’m just glad there’s no YouTube cameras around,” I said, laughing at the absurdity of the scene.
What a commentary on the 2012 ski season so far! I thought. January 7, my first day out. First run and I land in a mudhole!
The ski resorts have done an incredible job of getting terrain open with no natural snow and warm temperatures. What skiing there is, is actually pretty good.
Just don’t venture too far off the trail!