How the hell did I get here? How on earth am I going to get down that mountain? Why is this so steep? How come the moguls are so tall? I am such an idiot!! What was I thinking? And why would I attempt going down this slope the one day I am skiing all by myself? What if I get hurt? Who’s gonna even know?? I am such an idiot! Those were pretty much my thoughts around early afternoon on Saturday.
I had a great time skiing in Santa Fe last month. Then I won some free tickets to ski in Taos Ski Valley… and couldn’t resist another day on the slopes 🙂 It was beautiful! The sun was shining, the sky was blue, the mountain had so many lifts and slopes that I didn’t know where to start, I was zipping down the greens and blues and some easy blacks, and was having a blast… until I got cocky. I saw this beautiful slope from the lift: not many people, the snow looked less slushy than on other runs that afternoon, and I thought Why not?! Well, apparently one of the reasons should have been that just because you can ski well in Santa Fe doesn’t mean you can ski well in Taos. I know that now. Some of the signs I passed on my way to the beautiful slope I saw from the lift should have tipped me off. I read “not for beginners or intermediates” and thought it couldn’t be that bad. I read that you need to be able to self-stop if (and when) you fall by ramming your boots in the snow and thought that I had learned that already skiing as a kid in Italy. And so I happily continued on… until I was on top of the slope and didn’t know if and how I was gonna make it down again. Ok, see that picture below? The one to the left? Moguls in Santa Fe: somewhat steep overall, small moguls everywhere. I didn’t have too much trouble skiing that one. The picture to the right? Moguls in Taos: not only was it much steeper, but the moguls were much taller as well. Check out the trees in both pictures. Notice how the trees seem to be an odd angle in the right one compared to the left one? That’s how steep it was!
After realizing that it was too steep to take my skies off and walk down (or slide down on my ass – I actually considered it), I started skiing down a little. At the very first turn my skies came off, I fell on my butt and shoulder… That’s when it occurred to me that my bindings were too lose for that kind of skiing. And that’s when I really felt like an idiot! A guy stopped beside me. Are you ok? Looked pretty good if that makes you feel any better. It didn’t, but thanks. So, I continued on… sliding down sideways with my skies parallel to the mountain wherever I could, my bindings releasing my skies at every other turn, landing on my ass every so often as a result of having only one ski. It was pitiful. A few more people asked me how I was doing. Seriously! On one hand it made me feel better because I felt less alone, on the other it was just plain embarrassing. I made it down with luckily nothing more than a bruised ego and headed for a hot chocolate at the base thinking I now understand why people say that a green is a blue is a black is a diamond black in Taos.
More on skiing in Taos, where to stay, what to eat, and which slopes were my favorites (yes, there were many beautiful runs that I actually loved and enjoyed) in a few days.
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