Copper Trip Series: Drop Into A Black Diamond Trap

27 12 2006

In front of me lay Copper Mountain’s map. I’ve been to all (except two flat traverses) the green trials. It was fun. I’ve been to a lot of the blue trails. I remember that I wanted to go to a blue trail called Andy’s Encore. But I missed a turn, and went on a hard trail: A black diamond.

I’ll never forget that time. Let me tell you just how it happened.

We were at Copper Mountain. The wind was nice at the bottom. But not at the top. We had just left the village hoping to get to a high-speed express lift on the left side of the map. But instead of taking the slow and stinky bus, we wanted to ski straight down.

So I did what I was doing for the last three days of skiing: I went to the topmost part of the mountain, to ski down straight to the bottom. Sound like a foolproof plan? Then your brain must be frozen like mine. The top of the mountain was very gusty and plenty windy.

The moment I got to the top, I wanted to go down. Taking a quick glance at a sign “To High-Speed ‘Super Bee’ Lift >>” I started skiing down. The common sense in my body didn’t come and tell me to check what trail I was heading down.

By the time it was too late, I noticed high above me everyone was going even MORE right… straight to the sign that said Andy’s Encore (to Super Bee Lift). Oh, dear. And to make things better for my knowledge but worse for my head, a man skied by and said, “You look small to be skiing a black diamond.”

A BLACK DIAMOND! My dad skied down next to me. “Too late…” he told me. “Yea…” I croaked back. My legs began to shiver. There was no direction to go… but down.

Now, normally I think I would be able to handle a single black. Just steep is okay, but steep AND bumpy is hard. And that’s exactly what it was.

Carefully, I skied to the left side of the trail. And then the right. And then the left. And then I fell. I forgot everything I knew about parallel skiing and began to pizza ski. A tasty thought crossed my head, and I tried to keep it in my mind to help me stay happier.

That did work… for the first ten seconds. But after five or six falls, it was gone. “IS THIS OVER YET?” I wailed. My dad skied over, and fell as he did so.

Once I fell and found that my skis were not on my feet and my poles were not in my hands. They were both not on the ground. After some searching, I found a handle in the ground several feet away that was a pole, and in another direction, the skis and the other pole was found.

At last, I saw the chairs on the lift Excelerator. That was the lift we went up on a while ago.

After I climbed down, I took a good look at the slope that we had just went down. From here, it did not seem as scary and as steep as it looked like when we were going down. But one only need to go and look from the top down and know how scary that that single diamond black really was. That BUMPY, STEEP single diamond black.

So the next time you go down a slope, make sure it’s not steep AND bumpy.




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