First Time on Expert Terrain

Expert Ski TerrainDo you remember your first time on expert ski terrain? I do. I was on leather boots and long skinny skis when I started skiing at Gore Mountain in the late 90s. All I could really handle was Sunway, Gore’s long classic beginner trail. As I “upgraded” my gear, I started to ski some of the blues like Showcase. For years my ski buddy was Rand. Rand started to get better and one day he told me he’d “been up top.” I was in awe.

He said to me…”you know, you could totally handle Chatiemac or Hawkeye.” He couldn’t convince me to go and I spent my time convincing him to stay at the bottom with me. The next year, at the end of March, it dumped over 2 feet. The mountain was almost deserted. However there was a gang that formed, comprised of skiers of all ages and abilities.

Rand says to me…IF YOU CAN’T SKI HAWKEYE TODAY – YOU NEVER WILL. The finality of it all — I went. In those days it was a commitment to go up top. You had to wait in a long, slow line, load the Old Red Gondola and take the slow ride up. You didn’t want to make that trip more than once a day. By the time we got up there, HUGE cutup bumps were forming and we were basically leaping over them.

It was so much fun that we were laughing as we skied. We kept a group of 10 SKIERS together for over 2 hours. I’d never skied snow so soft that I’d lost all fear of falling. It’s a great feeling to overcome a long held fear. I’ll never forget it. What’s your story? Post a comment below.

2 Days on Fixed Heels

I always say I’ve never done any alpine but it’s not exactly true. I alpined 2 days in my life, once at Gore in the old Gondi days- early 90s. I rented gear and conditions were really bad – a sheet of ice and frozen dirt. If you skied Gore before they had access to the Hudson…you know.

The second time was actually a fair test. I was at Squaw for the first time. I was definitely still an intermediate on teles. I rented alpine gear and was skiing like an advanced beginner. Tripping on my tails, and frustrated walking in tight boots that were supposed to be excellent.

Back on tele in the afternoon and I was back to being an intermediate. I skied with a client. He was a total bomber, on alpines, on his home mountain. I skied stuff WAY beyond my ability. Anyway he took me up a lift on KT22. It had skull and crossbones on the lift at the bottom. “Expert terrain only.”

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