Wednesday, March 14, 2007

An ode to Steamboat: Mt. Werner, Part Duex aka "How I learned to love the 80's gor-tex fully body ski suit..."

****DISCLAIMER: The following blog post is laden with sarcasm. This is probably the most sarcastic blog I will ever write. Be assured, the sarcasm is only temporary, necessary, and pretty intense...You have been warned.****


Let me ask you a riddle: What do Colorado, full-body 80's gor-tex ski suits, texas, Steamboat Springs, Mt. Werner Ski hill, Me, tele skiing, human zoos, idiot lift operators, and my buddy Tercel all have in common?

Having trouble? I'll give you a hint: My second time at Mt. Werner, which was today.

COME ON!!!!!!!!!!! I am not talking about normal ski suits people! I am talking neon turquoise, purple, yellow, red, (with a floral design on the shoulders for the ladies) full up suits filled by people who are SOOOOO observant that they ski right on top of you!!!

Whew... I feel (a little) better... Had to get that out there.

I am sorry, allow me to explain my background and situation. I also fully admit my unabashed ignorance for this one blog. Normally, I am a really nice, affirming, positive guy. Today? I use just one little blog to discuss some culture shock I face when at ski resorts...but I digress.... back to my background...

See, I downhill skied, like, three times as a kid... at resorts yes, but since then? I have only experienced backcountry beauty. I am talking fresh turns in chest deep powder, no lifts, free (except for federal taxes for nat. Forest Land), quiet, pristine nature, on my own, quiet, on my own, quiet, on my own, and QUIET!

I am used to having a total "flow" experience (Dr. C would be so proud!), in the out-of-doors of North Routt County, Colorado. Today was my second time at Mt. Werner, the most prominent, popular, and over-populated ski hill outside of Steamboat, Colorado. Please, keep in mind I fully understand that I contribute to that "over-population"...anyway....

So, honestly? The whole full body ski suit thing? I think it's passe, but I really don't mind it. Shoot. In so many ways? I am passe... What DOES ABSOLUTELY AMAZE ME is how other people are unaware of their surroundings, or at leas,t their total disregard for shared space? Is that the way to put it?

What I mean, and here is where total ignorance comes in... I promise- the one time I will ever really vent in an ignorant, blanket-statemented way... is the people who yell across a mountain-top restaruant at the ski hill "HEEEEYYY BILL!!!!!! HEYYYYYYYYYYY BILL!!!!!!!!!
HAVE YA SEEN KENNY?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!" People who think that they are the only ones existing on the mountain. TOO MANY PEOPLE!!!!

Sorry, I am going off on a slight tangent here- not that I am well known for my tangents or anything....

So... I find there are a lot of Texans here. Totally cool... no worries there- but some of them, not all, like to shout in the thickest of accents from one ski lift to another- or from the top of one run all the way down to the base..... ANNOYING!!!!!! They basically have personalities as big as their home state- which is beautiful in a way...

But... still, this pales in comparison, as I said, I am a pretty understanding, patient, (dare I say compassionate) guy. BUTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT

Is when people are so oblivious to anyone else's presence but their own that they will snowboard right over you, ski into you, or stop right in the middle of the run, 15 feet in front of you!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I grew up outside of Washington, D.C. Therefore, I naturally am a defensive driver. I am always looking out for the one who will accidently- "oops so sorry!" side swipe you, t-bone you at a red light, swirve and knock YOU into oncoming traffic. I am a pretty good driver. I must say- I can drive in what I call "the school of fish effect." Rush Hour- I-95? I think you get my point.

ON SKIS?!?!??! None of that matters. You ARE at the mercy of others. Your safety DOES depend on the lack of responsibility of a beginning skier with their head in the clouds.

"OH!!! He is bashing beginners!!! BOOOOO!!!!" Wrong.
I am a beginner. I stink. I couldn't catch the edge of my ski if it were a spring guppy bitin' on bologna!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am NOT GOOD at downhill skiing- there, i said it! I admit it....

But- I am very conscious. I take care when around others. I respect peoples' space. It drives me NUTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! When people do not possess the capacity to do the same.

"Waiter, back country please?"
"oh, all out? Only rat race ski slopes for the next 5 hours?"

"well, thanks anyway, I think I'll check across the street at that other new restaraunt? You know, the one called 'Chez not-this-skiresort'?"
GEEZE!!!!!! O' CRIMENY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have almost been anihilated many times at the mercy of somebody sailing at least 75 mph in my direction. ..... Whew......

Wow- this is getting long.
I have one last complaint...and I promise- the disclaimer from the beginning will be null and void :)SO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT THE HELL!!!!!!!!?!?!?!?!?!??!

I am getting on a charlift today, and the operator gives it a hard shove on purpose, right into my bum....... I could tell by his smirk and the three groups of people that he did it to ahead of me.

You know what happened as a result?!

My poles got stuck on the "wait here to load" rubber sign in the ground, I lost grip, they flicked out in between my skis, I caught not one but TWO edges sideways and almost fell off the lift.... BUT I DIDN'T!

You know what I got to show for it though?!
A nice HUGE GOUGE right into the base of my brand new Black Diamond Havocs with O2 Tele bindings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT A FRIGGIN' JERKFACE!!!!!!!
he didn't have to do that- but he did anyway, and then his only response?!
"Oh...hey are your poles, I'll send 'em up with the next guy....."

So, my biggest PET PEEVE???????????!!!!!!!! it is when I perceive people as being TOTALLY UNREASONABLE.
Why would you EVER push a chairlift into someone just to joke around?!
Why would you NEVER claim responsibility for damaging someone's skis?
Why would I ever want to go back?!?!?!

Now... I am not bashing Mount Werner.... but there is one guy who needs a professionalism check. All those evil-kanevil speed skiers without a clue need a responsibility check.
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, I need to relax.
Okay. I feel better.

I am sure, in their own minds, they have a perfectly good explanation for their actions that I am failing to understand. (This is me cooled off.... chilling out and getting over it.)
So I apologize for teasing about loud Texans who take the Colorado ski resorts (and highway systems) by storm, they are actually a big-hearted fun-loving bunch of folks.
I was also just teasing about full-body 80's gor-tex ski suits. I mean, if I owned one in tiger stripes with rhinestone sequenz on it? I would probably rock the HECK out of that thing, but I don't :(

And, yes, I lost my tempter about oblivious speed-demon "ski patrol training sessions waiting to happen"skiers who fail to use safe skiing practices. Sorry.
I almost feel bad about bashing the ski lift operator, if my skis weren't so expensive.... but hey- I can always fix skis... I can't really afford to fix me right now if something REALLY BAD happened... So it could be worse...

ANYWAY- I just wanted to put it all out there that when people don't exercise saftey-conciousness, or at least people who are unble to widen their lense to view "community" to mean others around them, even if on skis...... it ticks me off- because in my opinion, that is unreasonable. Am I being unreasonable? Maybe a little flippant- but then again, you were fairly warned :) (Woulda been nice for senor lifty to warn me before swiping a lift into my gluteus at a high impact speed).
BUT- There is a silver lining!! (as always) :)

In the beginning, I mentioned my buddy Tercel. He is an amazing chef here at the ranch. He is also an awesome surfer (resume includes shredding in Oahu, Australia, and growing up on the Oregon shore), his parents are the former creators of NOLS AFRICA, and he can hold his own on skis...
Well, we are both aspiring Tele-skiers. he skis Black Diamonds. Kevie skis Blue Broomers.
Today, Tercel says in his Hawaiian influenced slang "Hey Kev brah, les' go 'dere to dat backside and ski bumps-yeah?" I said..... "uh..........(oh shoot he means black diamond runs!).....okay :)"
So... we took the secluded lift up to the top of the south face of Mt. Werner (after we skied major bumps down into a bowl to access the lift)... and I thought "okay- not so bad..." until the last 90 vertical feet- VERTICAL FEET...90 of 'em!
I mean, it was like, a 39 degree slope or more, but no way 45, and then I thought "OHHH MAN! Black Diamond time!"

So... I flailed down, fell a bunch, an smiles snow for the next 3 minutes :)
Then it was time to skidaddle, (no pun intended), so we went home, and I wrote this. :)

Yes... again, I commited the e-sin of rambling on blog.... but I had to vent- and I know many of you out there love me, and care :)
Uh.....okay..... so..... I am gonna go, and try and make the next blog shorter, and more creative :)
2.5 weeks....


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