Sunday, December 19, 2004


Returned from Vail this afternoon, where Nick, Ralph, Sandy, Jonezy and I competed in an able-bodied slalom race yesterday. I like racing in these things because it gives us the full race experience, but the results don't matter at all. It's good mental preparation for races that do matter. I was pretty happy with the way I skied yesterday and know what I would've done differently.

Last night, representatives from Nick's sponsor took Nick, Ralph and me out for sushi. They were really outrageous people (a young, rich, recently engaged couple) who loved to party, and they bought us lots of food and drinks. By the end of the meal, they had the owner bringing us special concoctions on the house. After dinner, we ended up at a completely-packed Vail nightclub, where a lot more drinks were handed to us. It was a fun evening.

This morning wasn't so much fun, and not only because of the hangover. We started warming up and inspecting the course for today's race, another slalom. But when I got to the bottom after my second run, Jonezy told me the race was cancelled because a racer had just died in a collision with a snowmobile on a run next to the race course. Everyone was pretty shaken up, especially her teammates from Steamboat. (Summit Daily News article.) The girl really wasn't at fault — it could have been any of us. So Nick and I did the only thing we could think of: we went off for a few hours and skied around the mountain, fast.

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