Allison Plean: Wax on
December 1, 2006
Steamboat Springs — When I finally reached the Burgess Creek lift at the end of the day Saturday, the lift operator asked me if I was sore.
I was insulted. Of course I wasn’t sore. I started snowboarding at 2 p.m.
Soreness didn’t settle in until Sunday night.
It started when I couldn’t lift my leg. Then I felt as if somebody had punched me in the ribs, and there were the blisters on my heels from new snowboard boots.
It was hard times.
I’m sure the majority of the pain was from my Superman wipeout on Saturday. It was one of those first-week falls for which even passing children ask if you’re OK.
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It seemed as if everyone I ran into last weekend complained about burning thighs and no snow. Lift conversations revolved around last season’s snowfall and this season’s lack thereof (of course, that had changed by Tuesday morning). But in the end, I think everyone was just happy to be on the hill again.
If nothing else, the cold, fresh air can help a hangover, which reminds me that it’s perfectly normal to have a Bloody Mary at the Stoker Bar & Restaurant at 10 a.m. Just be careful about its new continental breakfast – it’s not free.
The conditions on the mountain weren’t as bad as we expected. It had a spring/fall feeling to it – sunny, warm and a little icy. Days like that are good for gondola counseling sessions and teaching people how to ski or snowboard.
The best advice I’ve heard someone give to a rookie snowboarder is: “When you get off the lift, if you are going to fall, don’t touch me.” (The last time I tried to teach someone how to snowboard, she broke her wrist and threw up on her first run down Preview.)
I like to use the beginning of the season to set goals. This year will be my winter of big air, and I will make the long-overdue switch to my tele skis (at least three-quarters of the time). And maybe I’ll get on the hill before noon.
I got off to a good start with the latter goal – I was in Gondola Square by 8:30 a.m. on opening day. But before I could board the gondie, I had to replace the new season pass I had picked up the day before. My dog chewed it up almost beyond recognition. The bar code was no longer even part of the pass. (Luckily, the very nice ticket office staff didn’t charge me for the replacement.)
But by Saturday and Sunday, I was back to my old habits. My associates and I didn’t embark upon our first run until 2 p.m., and we passed the time on the lifts by coming up with a new vocabulary of jibber terms.
“Are you ready to wax?” means “Let’s go.” When your goggles are fogged up and have condensation inside of them, they are “condo.” A fast run is “lickedy.” The term “radilicious” obviously means extra rad. “Fragilistic” can be a compliment for having good skills on the mountain. And if a run was sick, you could also say that it was “infected.”
Obviously my best friend and I are big dorks. But what else were we going to talk about when there was no GRAMNET sting to complain about?
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