Saturday skiing was not without its trials

Today we went skiing at Mount Saint Louis Moonstone with the ski club so it was up at 6:15am. Most of our stuff was ready the night before so apart from a rush to put our contact lenses in, we had a gentle morning. The previous evening I’d made cheese and Vegemite scrolls, an Australian favourite, from scratch and they turned out delicious. We added them to the rest of the food stockpile we were bringing with us. (Food at the clubhouse is of the fast food variety, expensive and takes a long time to get so bringing our own is the best option.)

Julian drove us (it’s nice to have a friend with a car) up to the pick up point at York Mills. It was snowing thick snowflakes on the drive up there, and with very little traffic around it was quite magical.

The bus arrived at 7:30. Bec and Al had saved us seats. We settled in and off we went. There was no assistant bus captain so I volunteered to help out, which consisted of giving out little tickets when people were crossed off the list as having paid. The tickets were then exchanged for lift passes when we got to the hill. Unfortunately I could only complete about half of the task as I had to rent skis when we arrived and if I’d waited to give out lift passes, I would have been running late. I ended up giving them out to the renters though, and there was a bit of panic (particularly on my part).

I’d been given nine tickets and handed them out, not collecting one of the little coupons because I knew I’d given the woman one on the bus. Hers was in her locker, she looked trustworthy and I was confident I knew her. Then when we got outside, another woman came up and said she didn’t have a lift pass but had a coupon.

Long story short they made her go buy one from the front and she’d then get reimbursed. I then doubted whether I’d done the right thing and cursed myself for not having made the other woman get the coupon so I’d been sure. In the end, I was right, the number of total lift passes was incorrect and the ski club will have to reimburse the other woman (it’s a shame she had such a crappy experience).

I also had a verbal altercation with a woman at the ski rental area. When we first walked in and filled out our forms for rentals, I noticed there were two people behind the counter at the front and only one lane where there can quite easily be two. I redirected everyone so there’d be two lanes and we wouldn’t all be squished. People followed. Things flowed. We progressed.

When I got to the ski rental area there was a similar queuing problem. There was only one guy behind the counter, standing close to the door which led into the getting ready area. By the time I got there, the queue was out the door despite it only being five people long. I redirected people again, bringing everyone further up so there wouldn’t be people blocking the way.

As people moved, another employee came along and called for next. Someone who was behind me (and therefore not next) cut straight to the front to be served. I called her on it, she said that he’d called next (despite six people being in front of her) and everyone else should hurry up. I said she couldn’t be serious and then her bitch face got even worse. Some people are just awful.

Finally we hit the slopes. Glen, Julian, Bec and I were all in the same level and went as a group with another woman called Oxana. Martin was our instructor. We did some exercises. I’m not leaning forward far enough, and despite doing the exercises multiple times, it wasn’t until my last run, when I remembered something another instructor had told me, that I finally figured out what he was getting to.

It was damn cold and windy on the mountain, about -14C plus wind, so that about half an hour before the end of the lesson I was frozen. My hands and feet were the worst but the chill was going right through me. I was glad to get inside…

….except as I skied down to prop up my skis, my back started to twinge and by the time I got inside, barely a few metres, I was already off-centre and crippled. It got worse over lunch. I wanted to attempt one more run at least to see if I could work it out, knowing it would be bad to do so.

I got outside and couldn’t find my skis. As they were rentals it was likely that another renter had taken them, not checking the number on it was theirs. Strangely though there were no other skis around. Mind you, not everyone pays attention to where they put things so it’s likely it wasn’t malicious.

I went inside and told the my skis were gone, worried that if they didn’t come back later in the day, I’d be liable to pay for them. However, the guy said it happens all the time, gave me another set of skis and changed the number on my rental slip.

Off I went, found Julian and Glen, did one run and went back inside. My back was just too bad to sustain much more. I went inside and laid down for a while, falling asleep for a bit, then got up, returned my skis, packed up my bags and waited for the others to come back.

Glen returned first at 3:30 or so. Bec was next and then later the rest of the group. They thawed out, we ate some snacks, then got back on the bus, me hobbling the whole way. Sitting on the bus on the ride home was not pleasant as I tried to keep straight and still for nearly two hours. We eventually got back to the pick-up point. All of us fit comfortably into Julian’s car. The best part: seat warmers that soothed my lower lumbar.

Despite today’s minor trials, I’m glad we went skiing. I wished I could have done more but will just have to do that next time. Getting out and being active certainly makes the winter easier to bear.

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