Conquering Keystone

A few weekends ago (11-13 March) I went up to Keystone for a ski weekend with some friends from church. I’d been looking forward to it for awhile, partly as an opportunity to get better at skiing, but mostly as an opportunity to hang out with people and get to know them better. I also used it as motivation to go ski shopping again, and I bought a pair of Rossignol Avenger 74 skis at REI for 43% off that week (they were the same ones I had my eye on a few weeks ago at 33% off).


I rode up there on the Friday morning with Kyle, Katie & Danielle, and we hit the slopes around 10am. They were all experienced skiers/boarders, but they decided they’d stick with me. After seeing me handle the bunny hill (which is at the top of the mountain, interestingly enough), they were confident I could take on a blue. It was a major struggle making it down the blue slope, as I fell about 20 times (the runs at Keystone are quite long, and about 3000 feet elevation change). The others suggested that I stick with blues so that I’d learn faster, but I wanted do a green next to try to regain some confidence. They decided to stick with me, which I appreciated, though we quickly got separated on our second run, which was down a very long green (Schoolmarm). Schoolmarm was much kinder to me — I only fell about 10 times. I also liked it a lot more because I could relax and just take in the gorgeous scenery — and the view from the top of Keytop Mountain was absolutely stunning. Anyway, aside from all the falls on both morning runs, I had to take short breaks frequently because my legs were so tired and (quite visibly) spasming so much. It was quite annoying, and made it kind of difficult to stop! Kyle, Katie & Danielle wanted to do another run before lunch, but I decided to sit that one out — my legs wouldn’t have let me do another run just then.

While I fell about 30 times total in the morning, the afternoon was much better, as I fell fewer than 10 times on those two runs combined! On the last run we took, which was a mix of greens and blues all the way from the top, I fell two or three times up near the top, but then didn’t fall at all on the last three-quarters of the way down the mountain! I felt like I was finally starting to “get it,” especially since I was able to stay in control even on the blue sections! Kyle, Katie & Danielle had all been giving me encouragement throughout the earlier runs, so they were also glad to see me improving steadily and noticeably. That last run down the mountain was, without a doubt, the most gratifying run in my very short skiing career. 🙂 That evening everyone else showed up, and we had 14 people sleeping in the 8-person condo. It was a lot of fun.

Most everyone went up to the mountain on Saturday, but I was too sore and wanted to save a little money. The three or four of us who stayed behind that day planned to go snowshoeing, and we even got all dressed and everything and made it to the end of the parking lot before we realized that none of us had a car. Small detail, haha. So instead we all went for a walk more nearby. That night after everyone got back from the slopes, I got to play some “hand and foot” too! It’s always fun when I find out other friends know how to play that card game too.


On the Sunday morning, despite a fresh coating of 3-4″ of snow, we all decided to head back to Boulder in the morning instead of going skiing again. Everyone was kind of tired, and didn’t really feel like paying exorbitant rates for half a day of skiing. I would’ve happily gone skiing again that day, but I was also fine with saving 80 or 90 bucks.

The whole weekend was a lot of fun, and I’m really glad I went. Skiing still isn’t my favorite thing in the whole world, but I had a really good time, and will definitely go back several more times in coming years. I don’t know if I’ll end up going skiing again this season, but even if I don’t, at least I ended on a really good note this year. Even though I haven’t gotten too much use out of them this season, I think my skis and boots were a good investment. Maybe next season I’ll get to the point where I don’t fall even ten times in an entire day! And once I get to that point, maybe I’ll be able to take my camera with me to take some spectacular photos from the top of these mountains!

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