My roommate raved about the line for days. He used words like “sick” and “gnarly” to describe it. At one point I think he boldly claimed it was the most ridiculous tree run he’d ever skied. So when the time came to head into Vail’s China Bowl and ski what my friend had so fondly described, I was excited.
I took a few turns. I got more excited. The snow was well above my knees. The powder was fluffy—it felt like there was more air than snow underneath my skis. The trees were spaced perfectly; I hardly slowed down on my way to the bottom. My roommate was right, I was having so much fun I started yelling. About halfway down I had completely lost track of where my buddy was.
When I made it to the lift, I stopped, caught my breath, turned around, and looked up the hill expecting to see him exiting the trees. He wasn’t there. I waited a few minutes. Still nothing. I waited a little longer, but he didn’t show. Did he get hurt? Was something wrong? I pulled out my cell phone to try and call him, but the phone was dead. I eventually hopped into the singles’ line and finished the rest of the day skiing by myself, wondering if something had happened to him
I decided to stop in town for a slice of pizza and a beer after my last run of the day. I wasn’t surprised to see my friend already at the bar, three beers deep, bragging about the “sick” and “gnarly” line he took through the trees in China Bowl earlier in the day. Apparently I was the slow one. He said he waited a few minutes for me before deciding to take off. “Can’t be waiting too long on a powder day,” he said.
If only we had had a pair of radios that day, I could have gotten in touch with him on the hill and saved myself some embarrassment at the bar.
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