A skiing lesson | AspenTimes.com

A skiing lesson

Catherine Lutz

On Tuesday, I became the type of skier I used to despise. The holidays are a trying time for many locals – a time to battle for parking spaces, maneuver through mobs of clueless tourists, work long hours and snatch a couple of runs here and there between cooking for Christmas parties and other holiday madness.It had been bluebird for several days (nothing to complain about, but I was praying for snow). And then it snowed 6 inches Monday night.A couple of setbacks prevented me from getting to the gondola at 8:45 a.m., on the first powder day in at least a week. I was eager to ski and agitated, as the last few days had involved some extra responsibilities and a trip to the emergency room.And that’s when I turned into the ski Nazi, a nickname given to me years ago for insisting on getting to the hill early (no matter how late the party went the night before), skiing all day and not wanting to wait for anyone.I was impatient with a co-worker, could feel my blood boiling because of the delay, and was ready to lash out at anyone who crossed my path. On the way to the gondola I cursed at traffic and barely glanced at a friend who yelled a greeting to me.All that ill will, I thought later, did me no good at all. It wasn’t that big of a powder day – in fact, the snow on Ajax was funky in spots: hard underneath a thin layer of wind-affected fluff. Some runs were fabulous – everything under Lift 1A was soft and fun and Aztec was particularly pleasant, with a nice powder cushion on top of the buffed-out World Cup course. I learned my lesson: When I let myself relax, go with the flow, and be thankful that I could be on the hill in the first place, that’s when the skiing got better. It’s a good lesson to keep in mind around here over the holidays.Avalanche reportThe backcountry avalanche danger in the Roaring Fork Valley is considerable above treeline on N-E-S aspects and moderate on other aspects. At treeline the danger is moderate with pockets of considerable. Below treeline the danger is moderate. Avalanche danger details provided by the Roaring Fork Avalanche Center. For more information, call 920-1664 or visit http://www.rfavalanche.org. For conditions around the state, call the Colorado Avalanche Information Center at 920-1664 or visit geosurvey.state.co.us/avalanche.