The day I lost my glow

March 25, 2005

Friday March 25th started out to be a great day of skiing.  The weather had just cleared up after a week of Spring storms and Sierra-At-Tahoe had 18 feet of snow at the summit. With the oddity of having Good Friday as a paid holiday in my industry, Tommy and I were off to the mountains for some fresh powder.  Anyone who has seen my old Rossignol skis, knows there is a green glow at my feet because of the bright day glow color from the bottom of my skis.   My friends can always locate me because I'm the one with the green glow coming down the mountain.   On this Good Friday, I lost my glow.

We had only arrived at Sierra and while Tommy was getting his rentals, I put my skis on the rack along with the rest of crowd.  I was gone for no more than five minutes to use the restroom.  When I came back, my skis were missing.  I looked around to make certain I didn't check the wrong rack, but my skis were no where to be found.  There did seem to be a couple of skis with a similar color scheme of black and green bottom so I was hoping it was just a mistake.  But after ten minutes of searching the area, my skis were not returned.  The next step was to fill out a report and hope for the return of my skis that afternoon.   What had started out to be a great outing became a mild disappointment.  My favorite skis had been taken from me.

Close to 30 minutes had past and after filling out the report with security I checked the area again and my skis were not there.  They say that over 90% of the time someone's skis are missing, it's an accidental swap.  But when you're the one who's equipment disappeared in less than five minutes, it is easy to think you'd be the unlucky 10%.  Since the 190 skis with a similar color scheme were still in the racks after so long, I was hoping that the owner of those skis may be responsible for a swap and return.  In the meantime, I had the complimentary demos on and the intent was not to let the situation ruin my fun.  We got on the lift to get to the summit and during the first run I couldn't get the thought of my missing skis out of my head.  I mentally planted the thought that I had ten good years with those skis and was preparing myself to accept the reality that they may be gone.   I was already planning on buying a snowboard at SportMart during the end of season sales.  Now I was ready to accept the fact that I would be looking for both a new board and skis.  

No matter how much I psyched myself to deal with it, I couldn't help but to glance at any skis that may have looked similar to mine on the mountain.  I was ready to chase down anyone seen using my skis.  During the run on the backside, there was part of me that didn't feel comfortable on the rental skis.  As I was making my way down the intermediate run, I didn't feel my left turns carving as well as on my own skis.  I ended up avoiding the black diamonds during our first runs because I just wasn't feeling at my overall best ability with a pair of rentals that wasn't working for me.  I simply wasn't able to get my mind off the fact that my skis were swiped and I just wasn't having as much fun as I should have.   

After working our way around the entire mountain, we took the one lift running on the West Bowl.  It was the only way back to the main lodge.  Figured we would head back to the main area for lunch and check if my skis might have been returned.  As we were a third of the way up on the ski lift, it stopped moving.  This lasted for ten to fifteen minutes so whatever the problem was, it seemed likely to be a mechanical problem.  It doesn't take that long to clear the lift if someone falls on either end.  After baking in the sun and working on the unintentional tan, the lift finally restarted and we were able to make our way back to the main lodge.   

I skied the entirety of the final stretch directly to the racks to see if my skis may have been returned.  Typically, one removes the skis and walks to the rack.  I aimed directly at what may have been my skis.  Could these be my skis?  Did the person who took my skis by mistake return them?  A close inspection and things were looking better.  I could now return the damned demos loaned to me and get back on my own skis.  As I picked up my skis and started to head out, someone came running towards me screaming that I was taking his skis.  The jerk who swapped my skis was actually accusing me of taking his skis.  Such a dumbass.  While witness to this interaction, my grip could be seen holding onto my skis a lot tighter.  When I kindly told dumbass those were my skis, he tried to argue that he was using them all morning.  "That's right you were, because you took my skis by mistake this morning!"   He tried to insist they were his skis but no way was I about to let go and I was starting to lose my patience.   With ease I was able to point out where there would be a scrape from an early condition run at Sugar Bowl a few years ago.  "To simply put it, these are not your skis."  His reply was something to the extent of he was sure it was his, but then made a comment to say "although I don't remember my skis saying 104 cut on it.  I was wondering about that when on the ski lift."
"That's because these aren't your skis!"  What a fucking moron.  "Perhaps this other pair of skis with the same colors that sat here all day might be yours?"   He was slow to get it but came to realize, he had the wrong skis.  I also pointed out to him that his skis are 190s while mine are 177s.  He had bigger skis to fit his size.   It was a totally clueless face.   He never picked up on the fact that he had the wrong skis despite many obvious clues.  Had I not stopped by when I did, he would have more than likely taken my skis home with him.  Such a shithead.  On hindsight, dumbass never actually apologized for his error.   Again, such a shithead.

Sometimes people will say everything happens for a reason.  Perhaps there is some truth to that because had we not been stuck on the ski lift when it broke down, I may have missed the opportunity to catch my skis while the dumbass stopped for a break.   And had I not seen the return of my skis, there would be 80% more profanity in this writing.  After retrieving my skis, we decided to continue back to the summit.  We weren't really that hungry and I wasn't really willing to let my skis out of my sight again.   For the rest of the day I was much more daring on the runs and we made our way to the black diamonds I thought I would avoid the rest of the day.  The day ended on a much higher note when we left the resort.  (Just for the record, my bindings now have my initials written with a sharpie.)  A quick stop at Ikeda for a handful of pies and we returned to the Bay Area where others arrived after hearing we were bringing back Ikeda pies.  Over a slice of apple and strawberry rhubarb, everyone would hear the story of how EY got his glow back.  



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