Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Lost Ski

Riding the ski lift up to pick up trash
Old bear can (unopened and still carbonated)
On a snowy day in March,  I was skiing by myself at Stevens Pass enjoying the new snow.  Feeling confident, I headed straight to the Seventh Heaven lift as this would take me to a nice area called The Meadows.  The Meadows are one of my favorite areas because they generally don't get a lot of people.  The reason for this lack of people is the difficult exit.  Skiers in The Meadow are left with two choices, a long steep shoot too narrow for turns, or a even steeper but shorter and sometimes icy shoot.

 On this particular day I chose the steep exit hoping that the new snow would make the ride out a little easier.  I was wrong.  I entered the shoot skiers left, shot across to the right, made one tight turn, lost control and went head over heals for a good 30 feet down the slope.  It was what I call a "yard sale" crash.  Both skis ejected, poles strewn about.  When I stood up and shook off the soft snow I looked around and could only see one of my skis.  The snow was deep and I was not too surprised, and didn't figure I would have much trouble finding it.  I used my pole to probe for the ski, after no immediate luck I started a grid pattern.  After 30 minutes I repeated the grid and enlarged its boundaries.  After more than and an hour I realized I was out of luck.  I headed back to the lodge knowing that I would have to come back in the spring.

Late March and April brought huge amounts of snow to the mountains, ensuring that my ski would not resurface until long after the ski area closed for the summer. It was not until this week that I got a chance to recover the ski.  My friend Adam and I signed up for volunteer clean up day.  About 50 people showed up to pick up trash on the mountain.  The is a relatively new program and finding trash was no problem.  In reality most of what we found was recyclable.  It was interesting to find all the old beer and soda cans and a surprising number of glass bottles as well.  After the free lunch Adam and I hiked back up the mountain and had no trouble at all finding my ski; it was right were I thought it would be. It was a little rusty but otherwise fine. I am happy to have it back and looking forward to another season starting in just a few months.

I didn't have a camera with me, so these are Adam's photos.

Picking up trash on the mountain

I spot my ski laying on the snow!

Reunited again

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