21 April 2010

Rockin Rockies

Starting in Calgary, the plan was to enjoy a bit of the end of ski season and teach me how to snowboard. B is a pretty good snowboarder and has worked in a couple of different Canadian resorts teaching snowboarding for 4 of the past 5 winters. In preparation he bought me a rockin new Burton snowboard which is so damn pretty but at which I curse expletives as I tumble down many a small hill. I want to know how to snowboard, but I want to already know how to snowboard, learning is so damn tough. I've hit my head (the new helmet has already paid for itself, brain damage no thanks) numerous times, sometimes questioning if I was unconscious but then reaslising if I was I probably wouldn't question that. I'd just be saying, What? Where am I? Who are you? Why do I have this strange board strapped to my feet? Why aren't I at the beach? I've slid across snow on my ass and on my knees. I've fallen flat on my back. I've fallen on my arm. I've fallen where my body is somehow alongside my snowboard and my knee twisted in an alarmingly un-natural position. And this is supposed to be "fun" and I am supposed to be on "holidays".
B pretending to be a human bobsled on the track at Calgary Olympic Park home of the 1988 Winter Olympics.

Ben has been a very patient teacher and I have been a very patient learner. You can see why couples would blow up on the slopes.

Boy says to girl. "Lets have a "holiday" in the snow, I'll teach you, it will be "fun". 

Girls says, "Will there be daiquiris and a chance to tan?"

"No" says the boy "but give it a go".

Then girl is hitting her head on something that looks like marshmallow but feels like concrete not once, not twice, but oh about 50 times per day, and flailing about like a newborn calf. There is no energy even for daiquiris at the end of the day and the only tan you get is between your cheeks and your chin. But I am determined, I will learn this god dammit, and I will enjoy it, and I will look cool on the slopes and I will drink schnapps in the lodge after and smile and say "It's nice out eh". Not yet. But I will. It's only going to take a bit more practice and possible serious injury. That's all.
Next stop was Golden, staying at a friend of B's new log cabin. It was absolutely amazing, made entirely of giant logs from Saskatchewan, it has giant windows and overlooks the rockies and is surrounded by big beautiful trees. It's a short drive to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, where we continued operation steasy* snowboarder. Unfortunately "operation steasy" lasted not even 1 run.

The first run of the day was pretty average, you get up off your ass (which isn't as easy as it looks btw) you start to pendulum (beginner speak) down the slopes, your boyfriend screams "head up!" "hands over the board!" "GET THAT ASS FORWARD" fun holiday time for all, then you stack it.

It's so funny when beginners fall. (hilarious). We just lay there, on our backs, in star position, arms and legs flayed out, just laying there. Not sure why, not sure what we're waiting for, sometimes this can be for a couple of minutes, waiting for a sign maybe, some sort of sign to continue, waiting for the dizziness to subside or the sharp pain running through the coccyx to go away. Anyway, this is our time, we need this for reflection and to gather our thoughts, to get the will to get up and start again.

The rocky mountains, how can you be so pretty yet so evil at the same time?

The mountain, no problem, the mountain can do what it wants to me, but the chairlift, oh how I hate the chairlift. The enemy of every beginner. Why is this part so hard? Essentially it's just like getting up off a chair, except the chair moves, and the chair pushes you, whether you are ready or balanced or not, it pushes you down a short but icey slope, right into the path of 1. people with sharp poles 2. a fence or 3. a wall of snow. It seems to create the kind of chaos only seen at a wedding dress sale and you are more likely than not to fall dramatically into an un-natural and painful position. And to top all that off, you must get up and get away quickly or you will suffer the wrath of the impatient liftie or worse, be crashed into by other angry, frustrated beginners. It's a recipe for disaster I tell you. And it's not funny. (unless you are watching other people do it safely in the distance.) So this is what happened to me, on the second run of the day, I exited the chairlift, lost my balance, fell over, I did a ninja roll, my board did not. I felt my knee twist, I screamed* (*B said I squealed like a pig about to be slaughtered) and lay there, then I said ow ow ow about 5000 times. I crab walked to to side to get out of the way, the liftie got me a blanket and called ski patrol. I was to go back down on the mountain, not looking steasy, but on a ski patrol toboggan. For years, when I saw a ski patrol go past, with the toboggan behind them, with a body in a bag, I used to think someone had died on the mountain and they were bringing their body back down. It looks so creepy. But they strapped my leg up to a wooden board, put me in the little boat, tied me up, all I could see was the sky out of my goggles and the feeling that we were going very very fast. It was so much fun! A definate plus to a fucked up knee! B told me the story of a friend who fell while skiing and she broke 7 ribs, she was picked up by ski patrol who started to take her down the mountain and during the trip something went awry (all signs point to dodgy ski patrol guy) and her toboggan flipped 5 times! And she had broken ribs! Ouch! Luckily this story was told to me afterwards! So my knee was looked at, just a sprain, no more snowboarding for me for a couple of weeks… Kinda happy to give my lil lo body a break.

Very wet ass, from falling so much at the beginning in Calgary on the bunny hill. I heart snowboarding, yeah, like totally.

Next stop Vancouver, where real life begins. Jobs, apartment etc. Looking forward to discovering my new city!

1 homie be sending comment love:

Kyle said...

WOAH. You're aliiiiiiive. See this is why I got mixed up on whether you had been to Chile or not. It's been AGES since you've blogged. Glad to see you around these parts again :)