Skiing Triple Digits: Days 16-19, Mountain Meltdowns

I continued with the Triple Digits Quest throughout December, feeling strong and happy to be outside as snow continued to cover the mountain. Vail felt like a calm place these weekdays, but as I skied by myself or with training groups, I knew that things would become busy and crowded when the Christmas holiday hit. So I just enjoyed the relatively quiet atmosphere…while it lasted. Here’s the breakdown for days 16-19:

Day 16: Sunday, December 8

day 16

Moguls are pretty much my nemesis, but I decided that I want to finally rock them this season (if possible). So today I went out and skied by myself, doing laps on Chair 11 (Prima, Pronto) and doing a few runs down Whistle Pig. By the end of the day, bumps were still pretty much my nemesis.

Day 17: Tuesday, December 10
Vail, Level II Training Camp

Today was the first day of a three-day training camp. I don’t totally know why it’s called a camp, because we weren’t huddled up in tents at night, nor were we roasting marshmallows around an open fire. No, that would have been way more fun.

day 17

Instead, we skied in preparation for the Level II PSIA Certification Exam, which I hope to go through (and pass) in April. I showed up without my ski gear since I thought that we’d geek out on some indoor movement analysis, but everyone else somehow came prepared. So after I went home and got my ski gear, I met the group at lunch, after which we proceeded to do some really nerdy things on skis, like ski wedges and basic parallel turns. I was so frustrated with myself for not even being able to do these things correctly that I cried underneath my goggles while on the lift. Not a massively uplifting day ski-wise.

Day 18: Wednesday, December 11
Vail, Level II Training Camp

day 18

Today, I continued to ski with the Level II Training Camp group, but the sun was out, and the mountain felt a bit more charmed than it did on the previous day. John, our trainer, proved to be a pretty quirky guy, but he was amazing in identifying what I’m doing (wrong) when I’m skiing and in being able to offer suggestions for improvement. I only had a little meltdown on the lift again today and cried–briefly–underneath my goggles. But I bounced back quickly, trying to rally myself to re-believe that I love skiing and that I do it because it’s fun–not because I have the inherent desire to carve the perfect turn. To be honest, skiing really crappy turns can be fun, too.

Day 19: Thursday, December 12
Vail, Level II Training Camp

day 19

Today was the final day of our Level II Training Camp. By the end of the day, I felt like I’d bonded with the people in my group, and I enjoyed going through the process. Only one guy drove me nuts by offering me (unsolicited) feedback every time we stopped, and by the end of the day, I felt like skiing a huge wave of hockey stop spray straight into his face. I mean, it’s enough to get constructive/critical feedback from the trainer for three days straight. We worked up to skiing bumps at the end of the day, and after the three days were over, I felt like I’d survived a trying situation. So maybe it was like alpine camping, after all. As one of my Chamonix-mountain-guide friends likes to say: “It doesn’t have to be fun to be fun, right Traci?” Right.

Want more backstory?
Read about the quest here:
Skiing Triple Digits: The Quest


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