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Aaron N. Tubbs

Dragon chaser.

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Sarah and I went skiing for the first time this weekend!

This adventure started at 15:00 on Friday when we departed Norwalk. This put us into the base lodge area at around 20:30. Not a fun drive, as the last 35 miles were blind dark mountain roads with a nice assortment of random ice patches and crazy blowing snow.

Anyhow, we arrived at The Inn at Stratton Mountain, which was a dump, and got our room, which was more of a dump. Had dinner in the dinner area — two salad bars, some shrimp, and some lamb skewers for over $50. Not worth it, but it was just about the only place open at that time of night. Settled into our room where the paper thing walls and creaky ceilings meant we hard everything that was going on, all night long.

Met up with Sarah’s coworkers in the morning at breakfast, and then went off to the base lodge to be fitted with boots. Neither of us had any idea how boots were supposed to fit, and nobody was helpful, so I ended up with a pair that was mostly ok (left boot was too tight not matter what I adjusted, but the right one was fine), and Sarah got her a pair that left her in pain and blisters.

On to skis and poles, where we were given some learning equipment, and then to the lesson meetup area. After much fuss, we learned to donn and doff our skis, and did various ambulatory excercises. We then duck/side-walked to the “magic carpet” area, a 20 foot run with a surface lift and a 5 degree incline. After much awkwardness we progressed into wedge shapes and gentle turns, and our day was done.

At this point, Sarah was having a miserable time, and I didn’t feel like I could actually do anything. We had a mediocre lunch of pizza and sandwich at the base lodge, and then signed up for another round of lessons at 13:00. The second set of lessons was much more helpful, and much more personal (4 to 1, and Sarah and I got to be in the same group), and we learned the various sorts of lifts, and how to descend just about any green circle trail.

At the end of the day, we were in too much pain to consider going again tomorrow. While I had only fallen twice (I just don’t do well getting off chair lifts), my legs were in some pain, and Sarah’s were destroyed. So, despite having passes, we decided not to go for a second day. Waking up on Sunday, we probalby could have made it, but decided it was better to leave on a positive note, and we’ll do more next time.

Anyhow, that’s all rather disorganized; the key take-home messages are:

  • Take lessons
  • Take more lessons
  • It’s going to hurt, even if you don’t fall
  • Make sure your boots fit
  • Get long socks