It happened. Your boy went to Big Sky, Montana with his GIRLFRIEND and her family and lived to write about it. Here’s a quick rundown of the skiing.
Day 1: Learning on the Fly
Right off the bat there’s a narrow trail that leads to a much wider slope. People are absolutely flying down this narrow portion. I’m trying to figure out which leg to lean on in order to make myself turn.
The rest of this day is a blur. Meghan, her bro (Chris) and her dad (Mark) gave me some good pointers and I tried to take things slow, but I was not good at turning. When you can’t turn, you can’t slow yourself down. Most runs went like this – start okay, gain too much speed, fall down.
Regardless, the group was supportive of my very slow learning process. Additionally, the scenery was absolutely beautiful and made for some good pics.
The Chairlift Fuckup
My second most embarrassing moment of the trip. On these chairlifts, there are these big bars that you can pull down to prevent you from falling off the lift, and they also have little leg rests for your skis. On our second time up the lift, I rested my skis on the leg rest. Little did I know that you have to REMOVE your skis from the leg rest in order for the safety bar thing to lift up.
We’re all about to get off the lift but the bar isn’t raising! The six of us on the lift are looking around like WTF is going on. Then they stop the lift and I hear “ORANGE PANTS! TAKE YOUR SKIS OFF THE LEG REST!” Maybe orange pants weren’t such a good idea. I apologized profusely to everyone on the lift.
Day 2: The Fall
Day 2 started very optimistically. Meghan and I did two runs down my favorite green slope Mr. K, and on my second run I didn’t fall once. In hindsight, that probably gave me too much confidence. We took the south lift to a little slope called Sacagawea and headed down.
It’s hard to say exactly what happened on my most embarrassing moment of the trip. The slope was steeper than those we did prior and I remember getting too much speed, yelling that I was going too fast, and falling really hard. I smashed my face and was just hoping that none of my teeth were broken.
When I stood up blood was dripping from my face into the snow which was a bit of a shock. Meghan was a little farther ahead and made her way back. At this point I was actually kind of out of it. I was trying to wrap my head around what day of the week it was, what time of day it was, etc. and was struggling.
We skied the rest cautiously and I remained in the lodge for the rest of day 2.
This was probably the low point of the trip. I was unsure if I was able to keep skiing, or if I even wanted to, and I felt like I was a drag on the group. Meghan, Chris, and Mark were very reassuring / supportive of whatever I wanted to do, but I just felt like an idiot.
Day 3: The Lesson
After the fall I decided that I didn’t want to give up that easily, so a lesson was in order. Our group consisted of a 17-year-old girl who was on skis for the second day of her life, a 54-year-old mother of three from Connecticut, and me.
For 2.5 hours we did pretty basic things, but the instructor gave me a lot of pointers, especially around how to turn effectively, and I got my confidence back. I was ready to give it another go.
In the afternoon Meghan and I did some greens that I took much slower than before, but had much more control of. This was a huge sigh of relief.
Day 4: Revenge of Sacagawea
For our last day, Meghan, Mark, and I started with a few easy greens to get the blood going. I was feeling better and better about my ability, and after a short break it was time to head over to Sacagawea.
Take it slow! Wide turns!! Control > Speed!!!
Much to the disappointment of my readers, I made it down without falling. We even went on to do my first blue afterward where I also didn’t fall. Amazing progress.
By the end of the day, I was thrilled with how I did and even a little disappointed that the skiing portion of the vacation was over. The last run finished with Mark skiing nicely beside me before saying “Bomb it to the bottom!” and taking off in a rocket-like pose down the slope. I could not keep up.
The Pole Drop
Third most embarrassing moment. Halfway up one of the lifts I was adjusting my glove and one of my poles fell from the lift. How! There are two things you’re not supposed to do on the lift – keep your legs on the leg lift when the bar is ready to go up, and drop your glove / pole, and I did both! The pole landed in the middle of a mogul-filled-black which I had no chance of getting. Mark volunteered to grab it and even gave me both of his poles in the meantime. How dumb can I be? He got it without too much trouble and we continued.
This has been a very self-centered skiing recap. Meghan, Chris, and Mark seem to be expert skiers going down black diamonds without much thought, but all I saw of them was making sure I didn’t hurt myself while we went slowly down greens.
Regardless, I was flattered to be included and think that skiing is something I will actually begin to do more of.
As for the rest of the trip, it was great. Below is a picture of a very happy and good-looking couple!