#2 - Real snow and skiing for the first time

Riding the lift up the mountain, I was in a daze. I was in a daze ever since we left the house. I had never seen this much snow. Then again, I haven’t seen any snow at all. I arrived in CZ in March and the closest thing to snow I had seen until now was hail and the melting snow after a snowy night. This was something else.

I was one of the last to get going. Last night had ended much later than I liked. The Czechs go hard on their skiing trips and they were used to it. I wasn’t. I woke up to find my speaker inside a pressure cooker on the sofa and most of my colleagues ready to leave. I originally planned to go to the mountain with some of the guys I knew but they were setting off already and told me to tag along with Petr who would be leaving later.

Before setting off, I started putting on everything I brought. I had never been in temperatures this low and I didn’t know how to prepare for it. The only solid tip I got was to put on a lot of layers. So 3 layers and a jacket later, I gingerly stepped out of the house.

As we waited at the bus stop, I started snapping away. To the others the scenery would have been nothing special. For me, it was unlike anything I had ever seen before. Everything was covered in white and the snow covered alps loomed over the town. It was beautiful.

I had already borrowed some skis from a colleague but I was missing some other gear. When we eventually got to the rental shop at the resort, Petr mentioned that it would probably take some time. I didn’t want to keep them waiting so I got his number and told him that I would meet with them later at the top.

When I finally got to the top about an hour later, he was nowhere to be seen. Not knowing what a ski resort is like, I underestimated how hard it is to meet, especially in a larger resort like this one. Once you were on the middle of a slope, you had to go all the way down to the next lift to ride back to the top.There was also the more obvious problem of describing where I am, I am at the top I think? But wait, there were more lifts going even higher.

After using various metrics over the phone, I figured he got an idea of where I was. 15 minutes later, he still isn’t here. My eyes were fixed on the lifts but no one I knew came up. Eventually I decided to at least leave the platform and head to the edge to see the view. So like a spaceman stepping off his capsule, I slowly waddled off the platform in my ski boots into the snow.

Snowy alps

Another hour later, I was starting to feel useless. Everyone else just got on their skies and off they went. I just stood there. I didn’t come here to wait I thought and decided to try on my own. Mind you, I didn’t even know how to put skis on, let alone how to stand on them or to stop. What’s the worst that could happen? I thought. Oh yeah, I could lose control and plummet over the unguarded edges to my death. But f*** it, I am sick of waiting.

Story from 11 Oct 2017, Published 29 Jul 2018

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