Frost-Nipped in the Butt

December 31, 2015.

Mother Nature, you’re not going to stop me I told myself, as I paced back and forth to warm myself up. I had just gotten off the bus from Stagecoach to Boulder, and I was determined to make use of my time. After all, I didn’t wake up at 7:30 for nothin’!

I made my way into the crowded building to sign up for a morning snowboarding class. The room was smaller than a college dorm and packed with people, whose irritation leeched from their presence. Everyone was impatient, tired, and freezing. The Puerto Rican family before me fussed over signing their children up for classes, the Chinese man who cut me in line took his sweet time purchasing some sort of deluxe ski package. And I, I was just tired of waiting on other people–waiting for them to finish getting ready in the morning, waiting for them to catch the bus, waiting for them to get over to Boulder.

So I was on my own. I successfully signed up for my snowboarding class, and made my way towards the other building to retrieve my gear. It’s going to be #gnarly! Quoted from my Instagram post. Frankly, I wasn’t all too interested in taking a class (plus, the price  made me cringe, no doubt), but Mom figured it was a good deal: $175 for day ski lift pass, gear, and lessons, as compared to purchasing each individually ($110 child/$130 adult for day ski lift pass, $50 gear plus $15 helmet). I suppose it was a good deal, but I had brought my own gear, so paying $65 extra didn’t sound too attractive to me.

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Smiling on the outside, freezing to death on the inside.

I had gone snowboarding in years past. I figured, the only way to get better…is to just wing it.

Acquiring my equipment took much longer than expected. (BTW, if you ever go to Heavenly, bring your own helmet. I made the mistake of assuming it was included in the rental, but its $15 for the helmet.) By the time I got all the gear, it was 10:45 am. Almost an hour late for the class, so I switched it to the pm class. No thanks to the dude in front who didn’t warn me I would be late.

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Property of Kim (for the day)

My friend Derick and I did a few practice rounds on the baby slope in front of the rental store. Man, I was rusty.

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Derick and I on the ski lift

The cold must’ve frozen my brain because I suggested we hit the big slope ahead of us before our pm class. So we did. Derrick and I headed to the lift, scanned our cards, and hopped onto the the lift.

Halfway across lift, an “Oh, shit” fear hit me.  I suppressed the feeling by distracting myself with how cold it was. It was 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Both were problematic, but I just figured fear was worse than cold air. On the bright side, the view was spectacular.

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By my even bigger fear dawned on me: getting off the ski lift. 8/10 times I fall. 9/10 of those times, I fall on another person and make them fall. Derick was one of those people. And of the many times I have fallen, that day was the first time anyone had ever had to stop the lift to make sure I got out of the way. I hate getting off ski lifts.

After a few initial falls, my body had gotten used to snowboarding. I started to recall the same adrenaline rush and movement as that from a few years ago. Going down the hill wasn’t as horrible as we thought it was; I could stop myself from falling, so my new enemy was pace. On the snow, it felt like I was going 15 mph. On camera, it looked like I was going 1 mph. I would break every few feet. Amateur move.

12: 35 pm

My body aches like a *****. It feels like a sumo wrestler just sat on me. I want to sleep but at the same time, I want to hit the slopes again. I don’t think I’m doing it right. Are my knees supposed to hurt this much? After spending a whole morning here, I’ve realized–the cold never bothered me anyway.

I really like it here. Maybe I’ll move here one day. I like the environment (with the exception of the flippin’ expensive food).

The ride downhill took nearly 30 minutes. Derick joined me at bottom of the slope about 15 minutes later, and we reunited with the other family friends by the dining area. Drenched in my own sweat, cold air didn’t bother me anymore. But I wasn’t about to reveal my sweat head, so my beanie remained put.

If you think bras are ridiculously expensive, wait till you hear this: burgers were $18. $18. Do you know what you could buy with $18? 18 things at the Dollar Store– well, 17 plus tax. I wasn’t about life though. French fries were the deal. $5 for an American-sized meal. That was my lunch, and I wasn’t complaining.

After lunch, Derick and I waited for our instructor by the huge Ski School sign. I was convinced I’d gotten hypothermia by the time he arrived. I don’t remember his name exactly, but I have a strong feeling it was Tom…or Tim. But I do remember that he was from Zephyr Cove, Nevada and had learned to ski from his snowboard-champion daughter.

Tom (?) taught us the basics. He frequently commended me, which made me feel awkward when he compared Derick and I. Tom had to understand that it was Derick’s first time boarding, so favoring me was a bit unfair. But I let him do his thing. The compliments were sweet, after all. We did J-turns and C-turns. I could already feel my $175 going down the drain. I already knew how to do the basics. After our 2 hour lesson, I had noticed little improvement. I wasn’t too thrilled with learning what I already knew how to do, but by this time, I just wanted to come home, take a nice, long shower, and fall asleep.

3:18 pm

I concede, Mother Nature. After 8 hours, I’ve conceded. I’m sipping on hot cocoa in the building, hiding from the chilliness–and frankly, from frostnip and frostbite. I’ve had an exhausting day. Fun, but exhausting.

After everyone returned the rental equipment, we waited for the blue bus to take us back to Stagecoach to head back to the cabin. After a brief 10ish minute wait, expectedly spent taking group photos, the bus came to our rescue. The driver got back on the route, and we were ready to say “peace out” to Boulder. Now, time to go celebrate New Years the old fashioned way: a typical, TV countdown!

But a 10 minute ride became a 2 hour ride. As we headed downhill, towards Stagecoach, several cars in front of us came to a halt. They couldn’t cross the icy road without sliding, and our driver didn’t have the authority to let us out in the middle of the street. So all 20 of the passengers waited… and waited… until the police came.

But they weren’t our heroes. They came to investigate the problem and remind the driver to make us stay put. The salt truck was our hero. After paving away the ice, cars rushed to get home. I’m exaggerating of course, they went, like, 5 miles an hour. Our bus finally reached Stagecoach, and we all hurried off the bus. Lethargic than ever, I forced myself to walk up the hill.

Home at last. A much-needed shower was imminent. And much needed sleep was desired.

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