Friday, February 4, 2011

Skiing at Suicide Six

We finally broke out of our routines and skied a new mountain. Since we began, our skiing has been limited to two ski hills, Quechee and the Skiway. I like both mountains a lot, but felt like we should at least try other hills. The one that kept coming up was Suicide Six, which isn’t the most endearing name for a ski hill, but a lot of people we know go there.

The hill is in Woodstock, which meant it was close by. I’d heard it was small and manageable, which is good, and we could do a half day with minimal amounts of pain. The only problem was that we had piano/drums at 4:30, and the we generally like to ski until the mountain closes, which is 4:00. In other words, here we go again.

Going to a new ski hill is always an adventure, because you have to figure things out and get to know the inner workings of the mountain (i.e., where to get tickets, how much, where to score hot cocoa). Plus, the terrain is all new, so it becomes a bit of an adventure, and you know how I feel about that.

We got there just as half-day tickets were on sale, and who should pull in than none other than our good friends the H’s. Both C&SH had lessons planned, so we were starting off on a good foot by having at least one friend there. It turns out that it was also Waldorf day, so we knew many people there. In fact, I saw people I hadn’t seen in years, including YKW, but that’s another story.

The hill was basically empty, but we also were faced with conundrum #2 - they only had double chairs, and not triple or quads. This meant that one of us was going to have to ride the chair up alone, and that person was going to have to be A. She had reservations at first, but I knew she could do it. I figured I could ask a random adult to ride up with her at the chair. She was not thrilled with this idea, but it was either that or wait for me at the bottom while I skied with N.

Well, as luck would have it, the first person I asked happened to be none other than DJ, her old horse riding teacher. She was happy to see N, and gladly went up with her, though I told her to practice operating the safety bar on her own. She was fine.

The hill itself was more challenging with Quechee, but about the same size. Also, it was not as well groomed, which meant that we had to be a little more careful darting down the hill. The runs were fun, though, and we all had a blast. Since the hill is small, and the chair is fast, we got to take a lot of runs, though we got lost a lot at first. The trails are not clearly marked, and the map is not really to scale, so we didn’t know where we were going at first.

What this means is that we ended up on runs that we had not intended to ski, and sometimes this can spell disaster. Both A and N ended up on black diamonds, though to their credit, they managed to make it down the hill. In fact, A skied a double black diamond, which is super-advanced, and she got down, though she was a bit traumatized by the whole experience. Can’t say I blame her.

There were several runs with lots of moguls, which I am not a huge fan of but can tolerate, except that these bumps were covered with about a foot of fresh powder. This made skiing them extremely difficult, at least for me. One expert run in particular was called Show-off, and for whatever reason, N and I gave it a go. I fell about twenty times, and just to add to the fun is the fact that the trail runs directly below the chair lift, so everyone can watch. This included friends who I haven’t seen in years. How embarassing. To add to the drama, N kept egging me on to do it again, but I chickened out. I regret this, however, and we plan on going back and conquering our nemesis.

The hill got crowded at some point because the school group had arrived, but since the chair moves so quickly, it was never a problem. We had lots of fun, and it was nice seeing old friends. We crossed paths with YKW, and I don’t think the kids even recognized each other.

We had to leave a few minutes before closing because we had to get back to town for piano/drum lessons. This meant getting to the lodge, quickly changing, and getting into the car and hitting the road. We had to take our cocoas on the road, and of course I got a little stressed and snapped a little at the kids. My bad.

We pulled it off, came home and whipped together supper, which I had prepared the day before and simply had to heat up. How’s that for foresight? The kids said that Suicide Six was their new favorite ski hill, but that could mean that they were just thrilled to try a new place. I think we’ll go back this week, however, because that one trail is beckoning us.

Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to Max Peter for the pic.

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