The conditions were great… for the east, anyway. Ellicotville has been bombed with snow over the last week, allowing Holiday Valley to open a week ahead of predicted. Most of the blue slopes were open and, happily, my favorite area by the Tannebaum and Yodeler lifts was mostly open. I didn’t hit any black diamond runs since it took me half a day to get used to skiing again and then my legs became too tired after multiple runs down Cindy’s Run and Independence. I did go down one black diamond run that I normally would have had no problem with (Maple Leaf); however, this time, it had a few bald spots and I made my way down it in a slow panic so I won’t count it as having done the run.
It felt so good to hit the slopes again. I feel invincible in my new helmet. Had I known that the helmet would actually make my head and ears warmer, I might have switched to wearing one years ago. I thought I would look like an overcautious dork, but as I look around me, more and more skiers are (rightfully so) wearing helmets these days. Mine looks pretty cool–gray with hot pink flame-like art along the sides. I also was very happy that I bought the used purple snow pants at the Boston Mills/Brandywine ski swap this past October. Now, I’m completely donned in purple between my jacket, snow pants, and my new skis! I really felt like a little of myself–my personality–was on display as I skied. I may not have skied well, but I looked good.
I hope we have a sound winter, at least as far as the places where my favorite resorts are located (Seven Springs in PA and Holiday Valley and Holimont in New York). I would like to spend a weekend somewhere later in the winter. It felt so great to wake up this morning with my muscles slightly aching from the burn of a good day of skiing. I think I was most chipper at church through the grumbles of S.A.D. of which my friends were complaining. The only way to beat S.A.D. is to take up a winter sport–hiking, skiing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing. So at least for today, I’d defeated S.A.D. If I can ski enough, I won’t cry so bad for my lost cycling due to the weather.
I spent the evening today assembling my Christmas cards. The majority of them will go in the mail tomorrow (I’m still missing a few addresses, you know who you are). I’m still remiss on the Christmas shopping… Still no ideas… Yes, I think it’s a gift card year.