Snow laughing matter

Snow laughing matter

Photo by unknown

Story by Jacob Hill, Staff Writer

This Christmas Break I went on vacation with my whole family to Durango, Colorado. We did the usual family activities you’d expect–board games, snowmen, and epic snow wars, complete with forts and human shields.

The main thing we did was, obviously, ski. Turns out I was pretty good at it too (surprising, I know). I was no pro, I stuck with the blue squares, only joking about attempting the dreaded black diamond hilariously named Swagger.

After a particularly grueling day on the slopes, my family and I decided to call it quits before one of us passed out or froze. Unfortunately, we were situated at the tip of our mountain with the ironically named Easy Way Down slope for kids, our only escape. Why was it an ironic name? Because if you’ve ever attempted to walk across a flat surface in skis and a full snow suit, you’ll understand. If you never have, let me just say that it’s about the same as taking an AP test.

Thirty minutes of strenuous effort later, we were all ready to just keel over. I decided I’d had enough, so I found the first slope I could and took it. However, I failed to notice on my way down the pole sticking out of the snow, signaling that this particular slope (a black diamond I would find out later) was closed because of too much unpacked snow.

By the time I realized that the snow piling up at my knees was probably a bad thing, it was too late. I managed to make it to the next flat area with little problem, but instead of hard snow that I could shuffle across, I immediately sank straight down into the snow up to my chest. So that was a predicament.

I planted my ski poles and began digging my way out of this half-burial of mine. The skis still attached to my feet posed a problem. I had to work them off, pull myself out, put them back on, and attempt to make it to the slope again.

While the first half of the slope was manageable, the second half was more unforgiving than a McDonald’s drive-thru after you realize you have no money. I performed admirably, probably because I was fairly certain I would die if I didn’t.

About halfway down, I made too sharp of a turn and my lead leg sank down past my knee in snow. This flung me off my ski and sent me tumbling down the slope in somersaults more painful than the time you had to watch your 5-year-old sister’s gymnastic “show.”

After I finally came to a stop, I laid on the ground, too dazed to remember how cold I was. When my senses came around, I realized I had to climb back up the slope to even attempt to locate my lost ski. So yeah…not fun.

After what seemed a lifetime of searching, I dug the elusive ski out and rolled down the slope like a rag-doll. I strapped myself in, and with an effort that would make Bernie proud, I slumped my way down to the bottom and to refuge.

Walking/limping through the door of our rented house, I expected cheers of relief, maybe even tears of joy from my family who thought I must be dead. Instead I found them getting out of their ski clothes, grumbling at how bad the walk was. I’m pretty sure they didn’t even realize I was gone.