There are moments in life we never forget. That first kiss, first date, first beer and in this case first ski. These may be the moments that shape our lives and define who we are. They provide character and depth.
Some firsts are more memorable than others. While I cannot recall the first sourdough bread I baked, I remember the first time I skied. It was a beginning that eventually led to who I am today.
It was at the Bald Hill in Jasper National Park. I was five and my dad got mad at me because I was slow and had trouble going uphill. Apparently I found the 20 km death march tiring – surprising isn’t it?
I’ve never been a frequent resort skier. This is the first year I’ve had a ski pass since I was six-years-old and my sister worked at the local ski hill, before she moved to the desert, never wanting to see snow again. I’ve always preferred skiing off-piste. It’s more of an adventure with a touch of the unknown.
|Skiing can take you to some amazing places. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)|
My dad and I would make our own ski trails up creeks to the alpine. Finding bowls and glades to ski and camp in, giving them memorable names like Pork Chop Hill and Secret Valley. During Christmas break, while most of my classmates were at home and eating turkey, we were cooking steaks over a fire, high-up in the mountains under northern lights and getting ready to ski a couple laps. Even if it was -40 degrees. When winter arrives, I know little else then a life of skiing.
I’ve always been drawn to mountains. The large skies of the prairies, although beautiful, are overwhelming. My grandmother came from the prairies. She didn’t like mountains. Or trees. She said they got in the way of the view. The view of what? She never specified. I guess it all depends on what you’re use to or what makes sense.
For me, skiing always made sense. I’ve never understood how people could snow shoe. I mean, what’s the point? Where’s the pay-off? Walking is for summer time.
Although I’ve skied most of my life, I’m not great. I have little form, grace, or style. I just point my skis downhill, hope for the best, and enjoy the ride. And if I fall, it isn’t the end of the world. It’s actually one of the better places to fall, as you’re surrounded by a fluffy white cushion. Sometime’s it’s even enjoyable.
In the end, I ski because I know little else. For me, it’s more than a hobby. It’s a lifestyle. It’s me.
Now I ask, what’s you?