The weather is perfect and the Breckenridge Snow Report is exactly what every skier hopes for on the day they hit the slopes. It hasn’t snowed for a few days so the blowers are humming as they spray out white powder in anticipation of the real stuff to start falling. It’s early in the season and there are few clouds, short lines, and the sun is shining. David’s life long dream of skiing the slopes of Breckenridge was just realized (I’ll tell you about that in another post:)) and he is back at the condo with the kids.
Having experienced snowboarding a handful of times, my confidence surges. The last few days I conquered Breckenridge’s bunny hill and after several more hours on it today, I am ready to take on something more legit.
I hop on the lift and enjoy the ride. Quiet. Peaceful. Perfect. Partway up I realize that we passed the bunny hill drop off long ago and I still can’t see where this ride ends. A pang of regret hits my stomach until I push it out refusing the fear that is about to take hold. What more could I ask for? At the moment I don’t have to attend to the needs of my family and I can just breathe the crisp air and bask in the beauty of creation.
I am living the dream.
As I reach the top I am greeted by photographers who snap a quick picture before I head down the mountain. These moments are meant to be remembered.
Taken aback by the steep drop at the onset of the coarse, I hold my ground with out falling for a quarter of the way down the mountain. My legs are shaking from the strain of hours on the bunny hill. I realize now that I shouldn’t have spent so much time over there. I am in over my head and I know it. This run has exponentially more people than the beginners coarse and I fear another skier will run right into me if I zig zag down the mountain, so I keep my skis pointed down the mountain.
I’m going so fast, I lose control and careen into the plastic fencing that serves as a barrier between me and the trees. Thrashing hard on my back side I slide to a stop and start to cry. I am cold, alone, and scared. I feel weak and my legs won’t stop shaking. I am stuck with no other choice than to ski myself down this horrible mountain.
I opted out of professional ski lessons in place of the brilliant educator known as YouTube. No one told me I could ski side to side on the steep mountain to slow myself down on this kind of run. Seems like everyone is going so quickly. Not wanting to cause a crash with a skier behind me I keep myself primarily face forward. Which is unfortunate because the next turn of events found me thrown like a rag doll down the mountain, thrusting my face full force straight into the afternoon ice. The impact causing my head to spin and blood to pour from my nose.
I sat there bleeding out, weeping while skiers passed by. I was a few football fields distance from the bottom of the run by this point. I wiped my face best I could as my fingers froze, put my gloves back on and as I got up to make my way down I turned and another skier saw my bloody face. “Oh sh@#! Should I call the ski patrol to evacuate you off the mountain?” Standing up from the crimson snow I say “no.” All I wanted to do was fall into the arms of my husband and cry my eyes out.
We were staying at The Grand Lodge at Peak 7 so all I had to do was take a short gondola ride over and walk back. Having very little experience with hard boots the walk back was slow. Every step reminding me of how much I hated skiing.
My nose was hurting from the fall and burning from the cold. As soon as I walked in our place I burst out into tears and muttered something barely coherent about how I NEVER wanted to ski again!
I was never examined by a doctor so I don’t know for sure, but I’m pretty positive I broke my nose that day. My years of playing basketball in high school – on the prestigious C-team – full of balls to the face and soreness for days didn’t hold a candle to what I was feeling. It literally hurt to breathe!
I must have read the forecast in the Breckenridge Snow Report wrong because the forecast for me that day was a broken nose and a crushed spirit. And did you read about what happened to E the very next day? Even though I was traumatized by those two events, I don’t give up that easy. I fully intend to be brave and journey back to the mountain and strap skis onto my feet one day. I can assure you, when that day comes I will not be taking ski lessons from YouTube!
If you found my blog looking for the actual Breckenridge Snow Report, you can find it here. Thanks for reading and be safe!