Ah, that crud | AspenTimes.com

Ah, that crud

Eben Harrell

I’ve heard the expression enough: Curiosity killed the cat. Since I took up skiing three weeks ago, as I’ve learned to putter safely around the groomed gullies of Buttermilk, all I can think about are bumps. My curiosity is in the land without cats. Snowcats, that is. There’s something so graceful about good skiers on moguls. I love to watch them. They sail down runs seemingly without effort, swaying like willow trees, tossed from side to side as if on a tilting ship.This, I have thought to myself often from my corduroy confines, this is real skiing.Yesterday I made my second annual trip to Sunlight Mountain in Glenwood Springs. Given that my first trip was less than a month earlier, and that at the time I was such a beginner I had to be shown how to buckle my boots (no joke), the idea of skiing bumps seemed to my expert-skiing girlfriend as, well, “suicidal.”So I grabbed a grooming report at the base of the mountain, like a good little boy. I planned a route more manicured than guests at the Caribou Club. And I spent most of the morning on the Ute – a pleasing, hilly green run that meanders along Sunlight’s outside boundary.But I didn’t want to be on the outside. I wanted action. So I decided to take a look, just one little curious peek, down an ungroomed blue. Doesn’t look so bad. I can do this. Despite plaintive cries from my girlfriend, off I went.I would say that I enjoyed skiing my first ungroomed blue, except that I didn’t so much as ski it as slide sideways down it, with my girlfriend stationed 30 feet above me, shouting desperate, useless advice like a mountaineer telling a doomed climbing partner to “just hang on.”But I did enjoy myself. Especially when I marched triumphantly into the ski rental shop to announce my first run down bumps.”Nah,” the rental guy told me. “Those aren’t bumps. That’s crud.”Eben Harrell’s e-mail address is eharrell@aspentimes.com

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