The first time – but not the last |

The first time – but not the last

Tim Dudley

Remember your first time on skis? Maybe your parents packed you off to some fancy ski school at some fancy Western resort where you rode a magic carpet up the hill and zoomed around fancy ice sculptures.Or maybe you lashed plastic planks to your moon boots and wore holes through your mittens riding a tow rope at your frigid town hill somewhere in the Midwest.But if you’re lucky, you don’t remember it at all – that means your parents started you shortly after you could stand.Young Henderson Bishop became one of those lucky ones recently at Snowmass. Years from now he may or may not remember his long trip from Columbus, Ohio, or his slick little Atomic rentals, or his first ski giddyup (dad’s groovy old snowmobile suit from the ’70s).And Henderson’s 3-year-old mind surely didn’t know it, but that first day on the slopes just might influence the rest of his life. Like learning to walk, read, talk or drive, learning to ski opens a whole new realm of opportunities, happiness and memories. And it’s a slippery slope with no definitive end. But On the Hill ventures a few guesses that at some point, Henderson will:- Learn what a pizza slice has to do with skiing- Think the highlight of a day on the slopes is a warm cup of hot chocolate and some french fries at the end of the day- Finally get to use poles and ride the “big boys” lift like he so desperately wanted to on his first day- Fall a little awkwardly on hard Ohio “snow,” break a bone and get to show off his new cast to all his jealous classmates- Build a ski jump in his back yard- Take another ski vacation out West and shun the local hill from then on- Save all year to buy new skis, then want a new pair the next year- Base his decision on where to go to college on powder, not professors- Fall for that girl in psych class who rips- Thank his parents for opening that door to the mountains – Teach his son to ski (and make him wear that ’70s snowmobile suit)Good luck, kid.