Bungee Pommels and 140s
Well, the past two days have been holidays. I am still not sure what holiday Tuesday was, all I know is my work was closed, and then Wednesday was inauguration day so, once again we were closed. To celebrate these holidays, my friend Misha called me up and asked if I wanted to go skiing. Do I want to go skiing? Am I from Colorado? Heck yes! So after texting in a very enthusiastic affirmative answer he tells me he will pick me up at 6…pm. What? So my first thought is we must have rented a cabin. Then he says we are coming back around 11…pm. Hhmmm, this warrants a phone call. So after talking about this, it turns out the slope (yes, Colorado peeps, that is singular) is about 30 minutes outside of town, and its lighted so we are going night skiing. Well, alrighty, so I call up Heather and Frieda to drag them along with me for this fun filled 3 hours of night skiing.
After arriving, we head to the ski rental area. Well, things looked positive considering the ski’s looked like those in the states (sometimes one just never knows,) however here, rather than asking the length you want or your skill level, they just hand you a pair that looks to be roughly your height. Not happening, I think my skis were 140’s, yeah, haven’t skied on those since grade school. Well, it turns out they wouldn’t give me 180’s because as the guy pointed out “you are too short for those.” Well humph! No use pointing out that skill level should factor in, I just decided to live with them as time is limited and it is already 650 tenge an hour to rent these. So we all trek outside in our gear, ready to hit the slope. After much confusion, it turns out that you do not buy a “night ticket” or “all-day pass” as you would in the states but instead you pay 220 tenge every time you want to go up. For all of those lodge bunnies at home the situation is ideal. For those of us wanting to cram as many runs in as possible, its choot-choot doraga, and inconvenient. Oh, well.
So finally after buying our pass the three of us girls finally get a good look at the “lift.” Remember those pommel or t-bar lifts at the bunny slope? Well, this is kind of the same idea, except for a few differences. First, you go up the entire mountain on this thing. Second, the t-bar part is located on the end of a bungee cord like device. You snag the t-bar off the line, and it pulls down to the length you need, and you and your partner put it behind your butts, remain standing and let it drag you up. Right, sounds simple, and actually it is except for one catch, you take this all the way up the mountain. You know those steep parts you pass over in the chair lift in the states, well, this way you get to be drug up them by the bungee t-bar. So yeah, that’s lots of fun. Frieda and I were laughing so hard, our legs were aching, and all we heard from Heather behind us was “I fell of the liiiffff…” then nothing. The other issues we came across was due to the fact the whole slope isn’t lighted, you need to get off at column 8, and take this little trail over to the slope. Crazy times, as the guy who stands there to tell you to get off, is up this steep incline part, and only yells it if you don’t get off. No, nice little landing area, you fall off at this incline, slide down on your butt to the end, adjust your ski’s and then follow the trail to the slope. Other than completely crashing into the side of the mountain in order to get off, it was fairly uneventful, and we managed to find our way to the slope.
As I stood there and gazed at the lighted slope before me, for a second I was home. The powder was a great fresh six inches, the slope was fairly well lit, and the sounds that filled the air were swishing skis and the wind in the trees. As I made my way down the slope, a smile appeared, and I enjoyed a sport that is beloved throughout the world and was the cause of many great childhood memories. While we only were able to get in the one run, it was absolutely worth it. I felt the catch of the powder, the sting of the wind, and the poles in my hand. Believe me Knazhe Goree, I will return!