It was the night of a big winter storm. A storm that had the potential to be the biggest one of the season, and I had plans to meet at the Timber for first chair the next day. I awoke to the City clearing the streets before my alarm confirmed it was time to get up. I could hear the bombs as I put on my ski clothes and made coffee. There was a lot of snow in town so I hustled to get ready, rushing through my daily checklist: Skis, boots, poles, transceiver, shovel, probe, helmet, goggles, sandwich, water. Check. It was 7:45 and I was ready.
I dug out my car and headed towards the sound of the explosions. My friend called me as I was putting on my boots in the empty parking lot; he had just arrived at the Timber and was first in line.
I put on my helmet and goggles then grabbed my skis with bare hands. Oh no! I don’t have my gloves! Panic mode ensued. I rifled through my car, but with no luck. I looked around to see if anyone had pulled into the parking lot, hoping I could bum a pair, but it wasn’t going to be that easy. I thought about going to the lost and found but I didn’t want to risk getting there and being turned around so I jumped back in my car, cursing myself as I did.
Driving back to town was painful. I was going in the opposite direction of an endless line-up of cars. I pulled up to my apartment, ran up the stairs in my ski boots, grabbed the first pair of gloves I could find then set out back to the highway, cursing myself once again.
I had let all of my frustrations go by the time I got to the ski hill turn off. I was laughing at my mistake when all of sudden, I felt my car cough and sputter. I was forced to pull over to the side of the road. I looked down and for the first time I became aware of the red fuel light in the corner of my dash.
Needless to say, I didn’t make first chair, I didn’t even make it until after 10 o’clock.
This is what can happen when there is fresh snow to be skied. Your brain lets go of everything else, friendships momentarily disappear, and you become flustered and forgetful. Your only focus is skiing.
Read more of Brown’s adventures on his blog at freeskiercalebbrown.wordpress.com.