Dad’s still got it
December 22, 2006
Aspen, CO ColoradoI was 4 years old the first time my dad took me up the chairlift at Seven Springs in Western Pennsylvania, and the two of us have been finding our way up to the slopes ever since.I remember being frustrated wearing all that wool clothing on that first day – I’m allergic to wool. And skiing between his legs was too confining. I wanted to do it myself.But when I skied ahead on my own, I got too much speed right away and took a nasty fall, my leg twisted and I cried my eyes out as he carried me down to the lodge.Just a few years after that rough start I’d ski rather than do just about anything, especially going to school. And I remember jumping up and down when I heard that Markham Elementary was closed for a snow day. That meant Dad was going to sneak away from the corporate grind and we were off to Seven Springs again, this time to ski like mad – somehow all the more fun because he was playing hooky.And over the years we’ve taken some stellar vacations together, skiing powder for the fist time at Alta, Utah with the whole fam, a number of trips to Vermont, a memorable adventure in Aspen when I was on the verge of turning into a monstrous teenager, and later skiing the soft stuff at Vail during my spring breaks from college.And more than 31 years after my first day on the slopes, Dad is 69 years old and he’s still got it.My parents rolled into Aspen last Saturday for a visit. And while my mom is awaiting a new knee before she can get ski, Dad and I hit it hard and we had a blast.I’m not the best guide though and got him in over his head on a few runs, but he skied the clumpy snow on Buckhorn like a champ, and took on steeps at Ajax without a problem.And this is a guy who learned back in the day of Stem Christies and the Flying Shoulder Roll of the old Stein Ericson school.Our second day saw us burning up the Burn at Snowmass and ending the day at Elk’s Camp with some incredible runs on the soft snow and undulating hills of Sandy Park. And at day’s end, when we both agreed we’d had enough and made that last run down, I was struck by a deep sense of gratitude, that so much water can pass under the bridge and one thing stays the same: skiing with Dad.