Since I had such a sweet experience my first time snowboarding
, I went with some good friends back up to Hunter Mountain this past Saturday for another go before the season ends. And that's where the honeymoon ended.
I got sexually molested by the mountain on Saturday. That mountain picked me up in a van, drove me out to an empty parking lot and turned me into a woman. I learned new ways to hurt.
Guess I was feeling good after my better-than-expected showing during my first visit, I had to get knocked around a bit more in order to truly respect the authority of the mountain. And gravity.
Humor me whilst I try to document how it went wrong...
1) WHAT I FAILED TO BRING
Borrowed a friend's snowboarding gear for the first trip and there were things I found I didn't need so much—and so I packed lighter this time. One of the things I decided I didn't need to bring: snow goggles
. The first time I went, it had been overcast the entire day and the goggles seemed to hinder visibility.
This time: sun and blue skies for miles. And the reflective quality of the white snow was, after a few hours, absolutely blinding.
2) WHAT I RENTED
The rental board they gave me this time was larger and more unwieldy. Had an even harder time strapping my boots in. It all felt more ill-fitting.
(The view from being knocked on my arse)
The whole concept of the ski lift has always seemed slightly horrifying to me. (The ominous drop to the ground, the dangling body parts...) There were three aspects of the ski lift that were unsettling to me:
1. Getting on the ski lift
2. Riding the length of the ski lift
3. Dismounting the ski lift
Elegantly dismounting a ski lift is something I didn't master the first go-round. Took some really clumsy spills as I dismounted during the first part of Saturday. Hadn't even started going down the mountain and I was getting my ass kicked!
And then there was the quality of the snow...
First time I went, there was fresh snow on the ground. A soft bed to fall on.
This time, it felt like it was in the 60s and the snow was slicker, icier. Which translated to me moving a lot faster and falling a lot harder. Bruised up my left knee something good during the early part of the day. (Good thing I didn't bring any knee pads!)
My wipeouts were grander. I was getting tossed like a ragdoll. End over end. I was getting wrecked. Could have thrown in the towel a few times during the day but I wanted to get my money's worth... in pain and humiliation.
There were also a lot more people there on Saturday. My first time was on a Wednesday and it was relatively quiet. This time: Hunter Mountain's SPRING FLING. One last blast farewell to the season replete with helicopters, parachuters, BBQ and Heineken Girls. The place was a live five-ring circus...
... but toward the end of the day, I started to get into it again. With a little help from my friends. I managed a few smooth dismounts from the ski lift. Took a few sweet trips down as the the chaos settled and the crowd thinned.
As ever, I am a glutton for punishment. So my hope is to take this up again next year, earlier in the season. Because I will not be content until I master this damn thing.
(My hurt locker, 1492)