On the hill: The storming of Panda Peak
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN – In order to give my wife a ski day last weekend, I agreed to watch our 2-year-old for the day. And since I couldn’t stand the idea of staying at home all day, I took him skiing.
He got a baggy, puffy snow suit from his grandparents for Christmas, and there were hand-me-down boots, skis, goggles, gloves and a helmet in our garage, so off we went to Buttermilk.
It’s been a few years since I’ve taken a rank beginner skiing, especially one this small. So I re-learned a few things. For example, I hadn’t calculated that it would take Johnny (also known as John-John, JJ, J-Bomb and Dilbert the Destroyer, among other names) about 20 minutes to wobble his way across the Buttermilk parking lot.
No matter. We reached the snow, I clicked him into his skis and pulled him over to the Panda Peak lift using my pole. On the chair, he was stoked at the view from above, and commented on passing snowmobiles and crashing skiers. Not knowing how to get him off the chairlift, I just lifted him up and carried him like a football with one arm. He was fine with it.
The first run we skied in a wedge; I held his hands, and he skied between my legs. I heard a couple of cackles as we descended, but I think he was part-scared, part-exhilarated. At the bottom he asked for hot chocolate, and, seeking to avoid an early meltdown, I obliged.
Back atop Panda Peak a while later, he announced, “Daddy, I scared.” So I skied in front of him, facing uphill in a reverse wedge. This time he took a spill on the way down, and announced in the lift line that “I don’t want ski.”
So we turned around and went to lunch instead. At Bumps, he inhaled a banana, half an orange and a bowl of buttered pasta, and we went back out. On his third run, he fell twice and stuck his lower lip out in saying, “I want go home.”
No use fighting this battle. He was cooked.
He completed the long march back to the car and, after a deep drink of water, fell asleep in his car seat.
In the end, we completed three laps on Panda Peak, although the highlights for Johnny were probably the chair ride and the pasta. We all have to start somewhere.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
The Aspen High School girls soccer team fought off a couple of key injuries to finish in a 1-1 draw with visiting Roaring Fork on Thursday night on the AHS turf. Over in New Castle, Basalt girls soccer edged out Coal Ridge for a 1-0 win.