Tuesday, November 23, 2004

a routine morning, and a dramatic one

I probably took 15 consecutive runs on Parkway today between 9 and 12. Parkway is pretty much the easiest run at Winter Park, and one of only 4 trails currently open. (If anyone has too much snow on his or her hands, please send some this way.) We were training slalom on the trail, and it was going pretty well for me, but sometimes it's hard to gauge how well you're skiing when you're training on something that flat.

The lifties must have been pretty tired of scanning our passes by the end of the morning, and Winter Park has a stupid policy that on the lower lifts they have to scan your pass every single run, even if you've obviously been through the line 10 times already.

Speaking of chairlifts, yesterday morning right after the lift opened, this young girl had trouble getting on. By the time they stopped the lift, the girl was hanging about 30 feet in the air, with her dad hanging onto her basically by the collar of her jacket. She kept slipping lower and lower as the jacket pulled up over her head, and for about 10 minutes everyone in the lift line was gawking and speculating about how to get her down. The most common sentiment seemed to be, "She can't weigh more than 70 or 80 pounds. Why can't that guy just pull her back on the chair?" A ski area employee climbed the nearest lift tower and lowered down a rope so they could, I don't know, lasso the girl or something, but by that time her dad was losing his grip, and she fell. Luckily a coach had rushed up the line and laid a big foam pad on the ground under the chair. Although ski patrol took the girl down in a stretcher just to be safe, the word was that she was basically fine. As far as I was concerned, the incident just provided proof that if any resort employees are on top of things, it's the ski coaches.

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