A Day On The Hill -- A Ski Rex Media "Pick-A-Path" Story by Tim Meyer -- Part 2 -- Ski Rex Says...

As good as it would be to grab a couple of donuts and a hot chocolate, there really is nothing like getting first chair, especially on a bluebird day like today.

You drop your skis onto the snow, get your feet locked into your bindings, and you push off towards the lift, which has no line at all. You take a look around and notice that there are a handful of people heading towards the lift, as well, but not a single one of them is in a position to beat you to the lifeline.

You make your way to the gate and wait for the liftie to give you the go-ahead to slide up to the loading line. The liftie is quickly giving the loading area one last once-over by throwing down and raking some more snow at the loading line. Truly the lifties could be thought of as heroes in the mountains, almost unsung. 

As the liftie finishes the loading area touch-up, they turn to you and wave you to the line. Though it is a quad chair you get to ride the chair all by yourself. But then, this makes total sense since you are the first person in line with only a handful of other folks just starting to make their ways to the line.

You let one more empty chair go past you before sliding up to the line, which you do with grace, not wavering at all. You take a quick look down to the deck to see your tracks standing out in the snow as they are the only ones there at this moment. Yes, getting first chair truly is a wonderful, almost spiritual moment. 

You rest your backside into the chair with almost as much grace as you showed sliding up to the loading the line. As the chair scoops you up and you begin your journey to the top, the slight breeze coming off the mountain hit you right in the face. Though there are many great feelings in this world, some of which even cause you to blush and giggle as you think about them, the feeling of the morning breeze while riding the lift has to be in the top five...maybe even the top three.

As you revel in the wonderful feelings of chairlift riding, you start to take a look around at the mountain. It's just groomed trail after groomed trail as far as the eye can see, which in this case is just until you see the area of the mountain that is mostly diamond trails, which in this case are all steeps and moguls. So, those might be ungroomed, but that's fine, too. After glancing around at the trails you take in the sight of the trees glistening in the morning sunshine. There is only the breeze, not enough wind to take off some of the previous night's fresh snow. It isn't a lot, but it is enough to notice.

You then turn all the way around in the chair, or at least as far as you can. It's never good to bring one's ski-clad feet up on the chair. You turn to look at the sun shining over the mountains to the east, taking the opportunity to not only witness the later stages of one of nature's more beautiful shows, but you let the sunlight warm your face just a little bit. This also reminds you that it might be a good day to put some sunblock on when you get to the top.

Right before you turn back to see where you are going, you notice that a couple of people were able to get to the chair a little quicker than you realized. You not only notice that there is only one chair between you and the next couple of folks to get on, but you notice that one of those two people is kind of cute. Sure, there is a bit of distance between you and them, but with such a clear day you can see how cute they really are. You even trade a quick smile across the distance between the chairs.

This truly is a wonderful ride. 

While you, or anyone else for that matter, could sit and ride the chair all day taking in the wonders of nature and people watching, it's time to get off. You set yourself up, lift the bar, give a nod and a wave to the liftie in the top shack, and stand right on the unload line and push yourself forward. You slide down the ramp and come to a stop right at the edge of the trees in front of you. You real quick reach into your pocket to pull out your pocket-sized bottle of sunblock so you can cover your face. As you do that, though, you have a thought.

"Which way am I going to go first?" you think to yourself as you slather on your sunblock.

Hmm...from here you can take the easy way down. It wouldn't be bad to get in a warmup run. There's also nothing wrong with hitting the green trails, especially when they are fully groomed, just waiting for you to dig your edges into them.

Then again, you could go a little harder and hit a blue trail that runs just to the side of the lift you were just on and right down the front of the mountain. Though, if you're being honest with yourself, it's not really the difficulty with that one. It's more that you saw the cutie turn towards that trail as they were getting off the lift.

But, the expert area is wide open, too. You know that you can handle that terrain because of how many times you have done it. And again, you'll be the first person to ride that area today. Any fresh snow that's sitting on those steeps will be yours for the taking. It really is very tempting.

You continue to think it over as you close up your sunblock bottle and place it back into your pocket. You pull your glove back on, do a quick twist turn to feel that nice, deep stretch in your back, and you start to push away from where you are standing.

The results from part two. See where we went for part three below.

A Day On The Hill -- A Ski Rex Media "Pick-A-Path" Story by Tim Meyer -- Part 3 -- Ski Rex Says...

"Hmmm...there aren't a lot of people here yet. There will still be plenty of powder on the steeps for the next run," you think to yourself as you head off to see which way the cutie from the lift went. You start down the trail you saw the cutie and their friend heading towards.


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