Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Blues are relative

No, I'm not depressed. No, it's not about John Lee Hooker, who's death may or may not have been caused by one of my friends M. But that's another story.

I'm talking about ski runs - what else?! View of Nevada from Heavenly Resort
Here in North America, the ski runs are rated green (easy), blue (more difficult) and black (most difficult, with a sub-rating of single diamond or double diamond = expert only). I think the corresponding colours in Europe are blue, red and black. I have now managed to ski in five(?) resorts, and generally do the blue runs, although I have recently started black diamond runs - groomed only, and at least initially with my heart in my mouth. Eew. But fun. The definition of blue seems to be relative to the other runs at a particular resort and varies greatly between resorts. My son and I were skiing at Keystone in Colorado last January, and we headed off down a slope that was labeled blue both on the map and at the trail head. It was ungroomed, virtually vertical,and had moguls. Note for non-skiers: Once you start down, it can be very difficult to go back up. That's why they have ski lifts.

William whisked off down it on his snowboard, and was patiently kneeling down at the bottom looking up at me while I v...e...r...y slowly worked my way down. Picked my way all the way across one way. Stopped. Carefully turned around trying not to accelerate. Picked my way all the way across the other way. Repeated - each time descending about three feet.

When I finally got close enough (after 6 or 8 times back and forth) I yelled down in a nervous, high voice (very unlike my normal husky, sexy one), "This is blue??" The word blue pitched up into an unintentional squeak. It's a little stressful to be afraid for your life.

He yelled back, "I would hate to see one of their black ones!"

It was really cold there, but I was sweating profusely and my legs were wobbly by the time I got down. Good exercise! Or something. We headed straight for the bar at the bottom via the nearest green.

Another random photo from last year

All the resorts I've skied:

Boreal Mountain Resort (previously Boreal Ridge)
Heavenly Ski Resort
Sierra-at-Tahoe (previously Sierra Ski Ranch)
Diamond Peak (previously Ski Incline (I can see why they changed it))
Homewood Mountain Resort
Alpine Meadows
Sugar Bowl
Perfect North Slopes (aka Dinky Ball of Solid Ice in Southern Indiana)

Ok, that's more than five.

This is in the California Bar in the California Lodge at Heavenly. I think they should have called it The Grizzly Bar, but nobody ever asks me. Well, at least I used some of the photos I took last year...


Kia said...

I'm jealous...all we have here is freezing rain and sleet, with very little snow. The skiing forecast is bleak. I could try downhill ice skating on some of the driveways. And it does not look promising for me to experience your western ski resorts first hand this year, as my winter vacation is committed to visiting family next month.

Mr Farty said...

As I recall, Europe has green, blue, red and black. The red run I was conned onto was almost vertical, so I had to be chaperoned down to the blue run. Where a French character slammed straight into me from behind.

Anyway, great photos!

Laurie said...

Kia - Don't do it! I sprained my thumb downhill rollerblading, and it still hurts two years later... Western ski resorts next year, maybe! If it snows.

Mr Farty - I've only been slammed into by American snowboarders so far. I'll have to try Europe sometime to expand my foreign "connections." When I win the lottery or the kids are through with college, whichever comes first. I'm betting on the lottery right now.

I've been known to take my skis off and walk down. Embarrassing...