The Art of Skiing: Off-Loading

The Art of Skiing: Off-Loading


The Art of Skiing: Off-Loading



Unloading a chairlift can be a mental rollercoaster. I Slap my hands against my pockets, both on my pants and my chest. IPod, IPhone, Wallet, and keys… Check. Zippers zipped—ready to rip. Once the frantic ritual is over, I smile and prepare to skate off for another lap, looking for three-day old patches of powder that lie right outside the boundary line. I know the triangulated patches are there because I’ve been doing the same right hand slash just outside the rope and back in—all day.

Between runs, I’ve been talking up my chairlift company because it’s Friday and while I’m skiing on my day off, my friends are working.

Right now, I’d like to talk and see if everyone’s day is going as well as mine. I imagine their day is probably better.

It turns out the teenage company on my chair are boyfriend/girlfriend. They are both Freshman at the University of Colorado, Boulder and they are laughing and nipping at a small bottle of Fireball as a Jambox blares Hozier through the boyfriend’s pant pocket. It’s a little obnoxious but on a day like this—who cares? I ask them what they are studying and neither are sure yet. “Must be nice,” I think to myself as the couple takes a chairlift selfie.

I remember that tomorrow I need to catch up on a marketing project for my brother, write, and follow up with a stranger who backed into my Subaru. First world problems.

Flying past the top tower, I pull my poles from beneath my ass’ death grip as the two strangers and myself approach the top shack of the Super Gauge Express at Mary Jane, Colorado. I turn and bid my fellow chair lift citizens goodbye saying, “I hope you have a great day,” to which the 18 year old guy turns and says with a hint of teenage ironic humor, “I hope you have a wonderful rest of your life.”

“You too bud… You too”

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