Junior High was a tough time for me. I was awkward and not at all popular. In fact one girl made my Jr. High life miserable. She was so mean to me, she called me names, told me how ugly I was and put me in positions in which I could get in trouble in some of the classes we had together. I was an easy target because I lacked the confidence to stand up for myself. Even though she made me miserable, I still participated in school activities and even decided to join my classmates in going skiing. A bus would pick us up at school and take us to Park West Ski Resort, now known as Canyons Resort.
Once at the resort, we were separated, by skill level, and put into classes with an instructor and sent on our way. This particular ski day was chili and gray; Darrin and I were on the ski lift together chatting and having an enjoyable time. Now I know what we were about to do is really bad for skis, it was always something I could not bring myself to stop doing. Snow would gather on my skis and going up the lift, I wanted to get it off, so I would whack my skis together forcing the snow to drop. Darrin and I smacked our skis together, he his left ski and me my right, in an effort to get the snow off.
On our last whack, we realized we were in a bad position. Our bindings locked together and we were now set to be in a three legged race. The bad part is that we were very near the end of the lift and needed to start preparing to exit. There we were shaking our legs frantically and struggling to get our bindings unlocked as the chair reached the point where the riders are supposed to get off. Just as the chair crossed the line where skiers are supposed to exit, our bindings unlocked and Darrin got off of the char and skied to safety. I on the other hand was not so lucky.
I remained on the chair as it started to make its turn to head back down the mountain, when I heard someone, at least I think I did, say jump. So, I jumped. The chair was almost facing downhill when I jumped, and what happened next, is something you would see in a National Lampoon’s Vacation movie. I found myself on my back and surrounded by snow. When I opened my eyes, all I saw was gray, it was like looking up at the clouds when they are threatening to rain and there is not one ray of sun. I could feel my knees leaning towards my chest with some support. Aha, the back of my skis must be touching the grounds which are stopping my legs from falling through the snow.
The next thing I heard was a muffled voice saying something to the effect of, ‘stop the lift, we have a skier down.’ Skier down? I wasn’t down; I was buried and missing in action. The voice came on once again, ‘shut down the lift, we have a skier down.’ There was no question, it was me causing the lift to be stopped, skiers heading up the mountain just sitting there swinging back and forth as more skiers stood in line hoping to get to the top of the mountain for another run. I am sure they were wondering what was causing the delay in getting to the top, while I sat buried in the snow not knowing what exactly the next move was to be.
I am not sure if you know this, but when you are buried under several feet of snow, it is difficult to move, so I was just suspended there like a pear suspended in jello. There was nothing I could do to get myself out, so I sat back and waited to be rescued. Next thing I could hear was a shovel plunging into the snow and then back out, then plunging in and back out. This went on for not too long before I could see the lift structure above me and a nice man holding his hand out to help me up.
At the time it was an incredibly embarrassing moment. When I was rescued from the snow, my peers were all just standing there watching. They were not watching with concerned looks on their faces, but rather looks of pity and judgement. How could she be so stupid? How did Darrin make it off of the lift safely and she buried herself in six feet of snow? The rest of the day skiing was not nearly as fun as it had started out to be, but it did provide me with a story to share years later. When I look back at this event, I laugh knowing it is one of the funniest things I have experienced. I only wish I had the strength in Jr. High to see the humor in this event that I do today.