Anybody who knows me can tell you that while I LOVE being in the outdoors, I am not super competitive when it comes to sports. I like to linger in the back of the group when I bike or ski with friends. I don’t care much about going fast. I like to hit all the little bumps and jumps that grown-ups usually skip (but kids never ignore). I like bringing up the rear in a crowd, making sure nobody gets left behind.
Except when I’m all by myself, like today.
When I get off the Madonna lift and I’m on my own, I like to plan it so that I don’t even have to stop to buckle my boots.
I like to slide right past all the tourists taking their time as they get of the lift, taking pictures of the beautiful view (it really is beautiful). I ski really fast down the top of Chillcoot, passing everybody (everybody goes super slow on that part), and I slide right into Catwalk, that leads to the FIS without stopping.
Most people like to stop at the top of the FIS for just a second. Like all trails named “FIS,” it’s steep. Some people need a second to collect their breath, or their courage, or just chat with friends about where they’ll meet up. But when I’m on my own I get this little rush when I just drop into it without even stopping.
The FIS and I have a love-hate thing going on. This is the trail where I had an epic fall a few years ago. I don’t trust the snow on it. It’s always icy – sometimes just a little, but usually a lot. Even on a good day, the conditions can change from run to run. So, I don’t trust this trail.
But today I whipped down it, remembering advice my dad gave me when I was little about skiing on ice: “Straight down is best.”