19 April 2010

Ski Day 25: Closing Time @ Ski Bowl

Mt. Hood, from near the top of Radical

Despite all the late-season snow, we got word last week that this weekend would be the last for Ski Bowl this season. I was a little bummed, but I could understand it. At least it was looking like Sunday would be a nice day, weather-wise.

It was.

The upper bowl was SWEET!

It got pretty warm rather quickly, and it was definitely a vest day pretty much from the start. Brett and I had two of our D-teamers up for toboggan tests, and we picked up a guy from A team that had failed his test a while back. We got to make some awesome runs on the sweet groom on upper bowl, then got the guys working with the sleds for some last-minute coaching tips before taking their test runs.

The apprentices getting ready to take a toboggan up the lift...


The skiing was just fantastic spring stuff all day long. I took a fairly long break after we got the guys tested (and passed), which kind of gave me a little second wind. I took a whole bunch of runs in the afternoon, and was feeling great.

Towards the middle of the afternoon, I decided it was the right day and time to go officially face my demons, AKA the East Traverse - the scene of the crime, as it were. A year and ten days prior, I'd blown up my left ACL over there. I wanted to see if I could pick out where it happened, and see if I could find the route I ended up taking out of the woods to help my rescuers reach me. It was kind of surreal. I skied it slow and cautious, but everything seemed to be moving in slow motion. I instantly recognized the site, and recalled what it felt like. I started grinning when I saw the little cut through the trees that I traversed to get to Oh Shoot, then the open spot where I turned on my uninjured leg to the runout that empties onto Accelerator.

I made a couple turns down Oh Shoot, then zipped out the runout onto Accelerator. I felt awesome. I was acting like I'd won a race or something - hands up, victoriously fist-pumping, big stupid grin on my face. I looked back and sneered at the run that had taken my ACL last season, muttered something that I won't repeat here through clenched teeth, and skied down to the lift.

I know, I know. Just a TAD melodramatic.

Made a few more runs, and it was time for sweep. The two D-teamers and I loaded up the remaining toboggans from Rescue Center with the spare backboards, the drills, and some other stuff, and headed on down to Multorpor. We thought that hauling the sleds down might have earned us a tow across the flats to the Palace, but only the toboggans got towed anywhere. We got to hike back. Beer awaited us, but we had to get the sleds inside, and then get our crap together and leave, since we were being told that the operations people wanted to close and lock the parking lot gate. Lame.