Wednesday, November 18, 2009

To lose control

While skiing this week, we took a break from the mountain to sit and eat a little lunch (they say eating consistently is good for the whole altitude sickness thing). It shouldn't have been shocking, but we were surprised when a couple skiers sat down next to us, double-fisting beers they'd picked up at the concession stand. We're on a mountain covered in slick snow and ice with lots of steep descents, people, and trees. People are barreling down at literally break-neck speeds (we've seen quite a few in little sleds with first-aid crews around them). Why not toss in some booze?! Let's make this sport real fun!

Today on a chairlift, the guy sitting by me told me about a nearby ski base where you can get a $1 mystery beer (whatever's overstocked I guess?)... I can only think of one reason to buy $1 mystery beers. And then to hop on the mountain and shoot down it on slick glass-fiber kevlar and titanium planks while surrounded by hundreds of other people? Who comes up with these ideas? We're pretty harsh on doing the same on our streets, and I feel safer on roads than I do on the mountain anyways. Although, maybe there's a new way of thought on drinking and driving, at least in Ireland.

Then I rode a bus today, returning to the mountain for a few final runs. When I got on, there was an old fella who was plastered out of his mind. I could smell him from a few rows back, and he was singing , laughing, and talking for all to hear. And he was holding a snowboard. A few stops later, we picked up some more boarders, and one of them recognized the old guy. He was apparently a local legend who was known for pulling some impressive tricks on the mountain. Sure enough, he hopped out with his board and went straight to the lift. Does drunkenness make one a better snowboarder?

I never did get run over, or wreck into anyone who was acting irrationally, so maybe all is ok up there. Like I said, shouldn't have surprised us, but did seem odd at first glance.


brady said...

Hahahahahahaha!! You just got back from a place where people pack 32 people into a 15 passenger van and careen up mountains, a place where being 59 minutes late is on time, and where bribes change hands like candy.

And snowboarding with alcohol is what surprises you about America! Oh man. I love you guys so much. How did Sawyer do on the slopes?

Michael & Joe Joe said...

:) Fair enough, you are completely correct in your bemusement, Brady! I guess the place seemed like it ought to be the height of civilization, and thus totally logical and... safe? Yeah, forgot that it was still filled with people. And people do the darndest things... everywhere in the world.

Michael & Joe Joe said...

Oh yeah... Sawyer didn't go on this trip, he hung back with the grandparents. But I did see a mom with a baby strapped on her back skiing down and he would have loved that! Not sure about my abilities though.

We also saw kids as young as 2 learning to ski and board. Too early?