Posted by: Miriam | 15/02/2010

A New Love

So last weekend I went skiing. Not classic cross country. Not the silly skate skiing everybody does out here. But true Alpine skiing.

I fell in love.


I had played around on Chapman Hill here in Durango. A friend gave me a lesson so I wouldnt completely hurt myself. I wasnt sure if I liked it then or not. My boots were wonky (the lean on one was cranked much higher than the other, so my foot kept falling asleep), and I just needed to play on the skis. Get over any fear.

And I did.

My ex-roomie and good friend Bean was easily convinced to go up to Purgatory, aka Durango Mountain Resort, aka DMR with me on a locals day. We got a good 4 hours in, which is just about what I could handle for my first time skiing. I had a big damn grin on my face the whole time. Easy runs, harder runs, getting off the chair lift (which still terrifies me, and I think probably always will), walking in my boots, you name it, I love it. Love it all.

Bean kept taking me on progressively harder runs (I have not worked my way into black diamonds, yet) and I kept doing them. It felt great. Natural, I dare say.

Let me preface this with short side step into my childhood forays. We are not an athletic family. We read competitively, we played Scrabble, and Boggle, and went to Math & Science Camp as kids – I am the child of scientists. So I didnt start doing athletic things until I was in high school, and then it was track. I wanted nothing to do with softball (softballs and braces dont mix, btw), basket ball (I was scarred for life when I broke my arm playing basket ball), and I was too short for volleyball (4’11” doesnt lend well to spiking). I ran, and still do, slowly. I have 1 speed, and it is slow. It is slow even for a marathon. So when I discovered cycling in my mid 20s I was ecstatic, I was ATHLETIC! But that was the only sport that I have felt that way about. Until now.

My skis are too long. My poles are too short. I have no helmet. I use older borrowed, way-to-big-on-me pants (they will fall off if I dont have a belt) and I still feel at home in the snow.

Then we hit fresh powder. I think my life changed forever. I understand now. The heavens opened up and the angels from upon high sang. Floating through the fresh untouched powder was the closest thing to the float under canopy when ski diving I have ever experienced. The world is quiet and still, 100% quiet and calm. No phones, no email, no photos, no trappings of society. Just you, skis and snow.

2012 Winter Olympics maybe not, but I am ready and needing more. Like a hipster needs skinny girl jeans, I need more snow.



  1. Awesome. It’s a blast, that’s for sure. The powder’s even better on a snowboard, deep and steep – not that skis aren’t amazing too. Have you gotten to experience the yard sale yet? You know, that’s when one pole is 30′ up the hill, one ski takes off into some random tree well, one is lodged into the hood of your jacket, from behind, and the other pole we won’t mention. Goggles packed with snow, and a nice scoop of powder up the back of your jacket touching bare skin! … Something to look forward to next time, when you hit the double black diamonds! 🙂 Kidding. You’ll be fine.

  2. Awesome! You’ve been bitten. I’m a powder whore to the extent I hate resort riding now. That’s so exciting!

  3. As some extreme skiier said back in the 90s on one of those extreme skiing movies (Groove): The sounds, the mountains, the beauty… It’s like nirvana.

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