Thursday, February 20, 2014

Giving my first to Boreal!

I stood at the edge.

My heart is thumping and I don't know if I should do it. Behind me, the sun has started its slow descend towards the tip of the mountain. I can feel the air getting colder.

To go or not to go. Which one would I regret more?

I have already given up once, walking away with a deep sense of disappointment, chiding myself for the lack of courage. Do I want to live with this regret forever?

Just do it! Say a prayer and go!

God must have heard me, because suddenly a Japanese family appeared. Grandma, Mom, Dad and Child. The child couldn't have been more than 5 years old.

Like me, the child stood on the edge, waiting for the green signal.

"Kocchi, kocchi!" the mom yelled.

The child followed.

So did I.

And down the steep slope I went.

Unfortunately, they disappeared as quickly as they appeared. I lost them as I reached the toughest part of the slope.

I am on my own.

Breathe... breathe... plan a mental route... look where you are going... don't hit the trees... don't run off the cliff... remember what the instructor said about tucking in the butt... now go!

Zoom, zoom, zoom, zoom... and WRAGHHHHH.

I made it down the steep incline but lost control at the bend. Suffered a mouthful of snow as I tumbled and skidded to a stop on my back.

I sat up, took a deep breathe, dusted off snow from my face, and unlocked that one ski left on my foot. 

My back seemed to be pierced with a thousand needles. I don't know if it's because I have scratched my raw skin on snow, or because snow has found its way inside my clothes. Maybe both.

A guy I didn't noticed before was staring at me some feet away. I must have looked pretty dumb when I fell.

Or is it because I'm grinning silly to myself?

I looked up the steep path where I came from again.

I DID IT! I went down a BLUE SLOPE all by myself! No way!!!

I feel like I'm on the top of the world, not down on some slope retrieving my other ski.

I dialled Panda's number.

"Dear, are you still at the bar? Can you spare me another 30 minutes? I want to redo one of the slopes. Oh, it's nothing." I will tell you about it later because if you know you won't let me.

That euphoric sense of taking a leap of faith. Achieving something you have only dreamt of.

I skied away from the fallen spot, still grinning, more than eager to rejoin the queue at the ski lift.


WE DID IT! We had a one-day ski trip to Boreal Mountain Resort over the President's Day long weekend.

Actually, Panda was the hero. He took up the impossible task of waking me up at 5am, driving us to Mac to have breakfast, then continuing on for more than 3 hours to Truckee.

All because I really love to ski.

He would sit patiently at the bar, watch movies on his Nexus, look after my shoes. OMLH.

Oh my lovely husband.

Anyway, we were blessed with fantastic weather on Monday. It snowed two nights before, so we were able to see fresh snow along the road as we drove. Something that I missed on previous trips.

Greetings from the sunny blue skies

The runs at Boreal

When we got to Boreal, I was admittedly a little disappointed. Compared to the more established ski resorts like Northstar and Squaw Valley, Boreal seemed a little rundown.

The signage wasn't clear, the staff didn't look friendly, and it appeared like they weren't ready to handle the crowd that had suddenly descended upon them.

By the time I got through the chaos and collected my skis, it was more than 2 hours later. I barely had time to warm up before the 12.15pm lesson.

Waiting to get to the payment counter

Still waiting...

Finally saw snow light at the end of the line tunnel

Just one more photo! I got to go!!!

I got a little grumpy over the long wait and thought to myself, this place needs Marcus Lemonis, the guy from CNBC's The Profit, to turn it around!

Then I met Darcy, the spirited ski instructor, whom I'd always remember as the one who asked me to watch out for my jutting butt. ("You gotta watch out for that butt, Grace!")

Darcy not only corrected my ski posture, she also turned my impression of Boreal around. It was impossible not to warm up to her antics.

As I whipped out my phone to snap a photo of the snow on the trees, Darcy told us she never had to buy sunscreen because people kept dropping stuff off the ski lifts.

When summer comes around and the snow melts, they would find phones, wallets, rings, sunglasses, gloves, tubes of sunscreen, bottles of beer (seriously?)... Like a scavenger hunt.

Love taking ski lifts
Up on the mountain as we got off the Cedar Ridge ski lift, Darcy gave us a geography lesson.
"Over there, you have the Sugar Bowl. That's the back of Northstar," she pointed. "Right over there is Castle Peak. And this is East towards Nevada, West towards California."
What an awesome view we have up here!
That's Darcy in the centre.

We went down the green slopes again and again to practise our parallel turns. At the end of the 90-min lesson, I was given a registration card for the Take 3, Ride FREE programme.

That means I get a big discount when I return for the 2nd and 3rd lesson - only $45 for Level 4 and up. After that, they will issue me with a free 2013-2014 season pass. How awesome is that!

I am so excited. I can hardly wait to come back.

Please, season, don't end so quickly!

Take 3, Ride FREE - do not lose this card!

Me on solo after the ski lesson
My unexpected souvenir. Guess my bag collected some snow when I fell! 

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