I love to celebrate the opening of the ski year at Alta Ski Resort. However, since it is my first ski day of the year, I always manage to forget something. Two years now, I’ve forgotten the right eye gear. The first time, I didn’t have goggles, glasses, anything. It snowed; I never expect it to snow on opening day. I crawled down the greens blinded by the snow and drops of water pouring into my eyes. Several instructors out on the mountain gave out tips. I skied by one on a shallow green who called out, “You’re doing great. You’re almost there.”
It took all I had to keep quiet and yell back, “I’m not a beginner. I know how to ski. I just can’t see anything.”
This last week, I remembered my eye gear—my sunny day goggles. And again it snowed. How bad could it be, I thought, at least I have goggles this time. No too bad, until the blizzard hit. I made it alright until I dropped down a steeper barren hill. The wind kicked up, blowing the snow horizontal. I went blind.
I had no perception of where sky meant mountain. For a brief moment, I felt as if I stood still since I couldn’t see movement. I passed a rock on the side and panicked at how fast it went by. I was almost sure I was still. Cutting my skis into a sharp turn to slow down didn’t help matters as I fell into the side of the mountain. It took a second for me to realize I’d even fallen.
Once I got off the hill and by trees, the earth came in focus again. I’d have to be a fool to go up again. But I did anyhow. I’m now fully prepared for snow, if only it would.