12.20.2005

Holidays and Celebrations

It was another weekend on the slopes for me, last one before the holidays. Saturday all of my friends from Denver came up to ski and snowboard at Beaver Creek. With such a big group, we all sort of split up on the mountain and met up later for lunch. It’s always tough to ski in a big group as some people want groomed runs, other moguls or trees. A few of my friends were at Beaver Creek for the first time and I got to have some fun playing tour guide, hitting a few of the lesser known tree runs. It was a wild day on the mountain, from collisions to special announcements. The brother of one our friends got run over by another skier while on one of the groomed runs. The guy who hit him then just skied off without helping him or taking any responsibility. We were skiing a different slope at the time, but all the lifts come together and when we got down we saw a crowd of our friends gathered around him on the ground. Unfortunately he was seriously injured in the collision and ski patrol had to take him off in a sled. It turns out that he needed stitches in his chin, and had fractured his jaw. It’s just like driving, here our friend is riding carefully minding his own business and out of nowhere someone slams into him; you just can’t trust that the other people on the mountain are going to ski or ride responsibly. Of course a little while later on another run, our friend Pete got cut off by another snowboarder and went down hard himself. No injuries thankfully, but he was glad he had his helmet on as the back of his head hit the snow. Sometimes I think the tree runs are safer, at least there are no other people to run you over. All of this bad news from the slopes needed to be complemented by something good, and we got a huge surprise when we got down to lunch. I don’t want to ruin the surprise for anyone else, so I’ll just say that there was a big announcement and a new piece of jewelry. We had a great lunch to celebrate, so good in fact that we never made it back out onto the slopes! I unfortunately wasn’t able to join the after party as my work was having our Christmas party that night, but I’m sure it was a good time.

The Christmas party was fun too, and we had a pretty good dinner. We also do an annual White Elephant gift exchange, I got the lucky draw… last person to pick! The way it works is that you each draw a number, the first person opens a gift, and the next person can either open a gift or steal the first person’s gift. When your gift is stolen you can either steal a gift or open a new one. It keeps going like this until the last gift is opened. Being last to pick meant that I had my pick of the already opened gifts or pick the last gift and end the game. The one caveat we have is that if a gift is stolen three times it is “retired”, otherwise the game goes on forever if there is a hot gift that everyone wants. The choices weren’t the best, but I ended up with the game Balderdash, better than the wind chimes I would have gotten if I had opened the last present!

Sunday was back to the slopes at Beaver Creek, I ended up soloing it though as a few of the people from work that had talked about going up were too hungover to make it. I only went for half the day, but I got to do something I have never done before. Now that the lift close to my town has opened for the season, I was able to walk from my house to the lift, and then ski down at the end of the day and walk back home. It’s a little bit of a walk, but worth it in my opinion. Although I am by no means “ski-in, ski-out” where I live, it is one step closer to that dream. No skiing next weekend though, I will be heading home for the holidays, those of you that are going to be in town I will hopefully see you soon!