Friday, January 18, 2013

No Cure For Stupidity

A friend and I went skiing up at Sun Peaks on Wednesday. It was a great day. It wasn't bitterly cold, the sun made an occasional appearance, and the snow was perfect - nice and fast and not a single patch of ice. Of course it could have been missing any or all of those components and I still would have considered it a great day, which I now define as being any day I don't end up coming down the mountain on a rescue toboggan.

This ski season I have had an upgrade. My last ski jacket was purchased thirteen years ago, which made me only slightly more current fashion-wise than this lady.




I love how warm my new jacket is. I suspect my old one had lost some of its filling over the years. (It has now been demoted to a dog walking jacket.)


In case you're wondering, no, I did not do the double black diamond run!

I am so up-to-date my new jacket even has a pocket for my iPhone. I slipped my phone into the special pocket and actually remembered to pull it out and use it quite a few times during the day. Unfortunately, this led to The Incident.

We inadvertently ended up at the Burfield chairlift. This is the old chair up at Sun Peaks. It is a long way from the other lifts, and once you find yourself over there the only way back to the main area is to go up and ski down. It is extremely slow. So slow it takes about twenty minutes to get to the top of the mountain. And when I say the top of the mountain I am not exaggerating.

About halfway up the lift I couldn't resist taking my phone out to take some pictures. I laughed and said to Mary Anne that if one of my kids took their phone out of their pocket going up a lift and consequently dropped it my response would be, "What on earth were you thinking?" Because, let's face it, it's all kinds of stupid to take the risk. If that phone gets dropped there is no way you would ever find it again. At least not until the snow melts.

Being a mature, responsible adult I held onto that iPhone like my life depended on it. I didn't let my attention wander for a second while I had it out. As I slipped it safely back into my pocket I congratulated myself on its safe return, then reached down to grab my mittens to put on my rather cold hands.

I looked. Then I looked harder. (Have you ever done that when you can't believe what you are seeing?) There was only one mitten in my lap. I whipped my head around and looked behind me. There, rapidly disappearing in the distance was my other mitten. Then I looked ahead. We still had another ten minutes to go until we got to the top.



I made it. Well, most of me made it. I'm not sure about my left hand since I could no longer feel it.




Did I mention the fact this chair takes you to the very top of the mountain? Just in case you didn't believe me.




 It gets worse. The run we needed to take to get back to the main ski area is called Five Mile. Oddly enough, it got that name because it is five miles long. I would just like to say a couple of things. The first is, it is a really good thing I am a good sport. The second is, thankfully it wasn't a bitterly cold day. It was just regular "middle of January in Canada at the top of a mountain" kind of cold. The third is I parented five children, and old habits die hard. That meant I had slipped a spare pair of mittens into my backpack. (This would have been a better thing if my backpack wasn't five cold miles away.) And finally, if you ever find yourself in a similar situation you need to know the hand dryers in the bathroom are excellent for thawing out frozen limbs.



My mittens have been replaced and next time I will not be taking them off while I am on a chairlift. Maybe there is, after all, a cure for stupidity.

32 comments:

  1. Oh you poor thing! My sympathies. I did something similar in Colorado one year, but my husband and his father were able to recover the glove so I only had to ski gloveless until I met them.

    Just reading about a five-mile run made my thighs feel like Jell-O.

    So, does the sign on the double-diamond trail say, "To Hell"? ;-)

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    1. You were lucky they were able to get your glove back. In my case it wasn't going to be possible. I was skiing with a less experienced skier, and the run under the chair looked pretty intimidating. Also, it would have meant having to go back up the slow chair another time, and if I hadn't been able to find my mitten I would have been into frostbite territory by then. :-)

      Ha! That double black diamond run is called Headwalls, but I like your guess better.

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  2. but hey: at least you didn't lose your phone. :)

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  3. What a lovely post Kristie. Your photos are wonderful. You had a great day by the looks of it and thank goodness it was only the mitten that you lost, although I'm sure you didn't think so at the time! Have a great weekend.

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    1. The pictures came out okay considering they were taken on a phone, but they don't really due justice to how beautiful it is up at Sun Peaks. It needs to be experienced in person. And yes, even in the midst of freezing on the way down the mountain I knew I was lucky it was my mitten and not my phone. I still can't believe I did something so dumb though! :-)

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  4. I have a "dropped a glove off the ski lift" story to tell you one day :)
    I'm glad you followed my dad's advice that I will never forget and that's to always bring a second pair "just in case".

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    1. I can't wait to hear your story! Hopefully it will make me feel a little less stupid. :-) And following your dad's advice saved me a lot of money. At the end of the day we went into the ski shop just to see what they had in the way of mittens and some of them were over $100!

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  5. This made me laugh :) Glad you are all thawed out now with new mittens and at least you have a great story xx

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    1. It's funny how something can happen and you know right away you have a blog post just waiting to be written. :-)

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  6. OH, NO! At least you packed a spare pair of mittens! That could have been a quick way to ruin your day. I have a pair of Burton Mitts that have elastic bands at the ends of them. They're great for snowboarding, because I can pop off my mitts without having them hit the ground. It's like the grown up version of mittens on a string. That is, as long as I remember to put the elastic around my wrist before I put them on.

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    1. Thanks for the tip about the Burton Mitts! They sound perfect. Although I think I am going to forbid myself from taking any more pictures while on the chairlift. It just isn't worth it.

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  7. Well, things happen. That's why no one who has been married for 20 years still has the same dishes and glasses they had when they were first married. Things happen. Stuff gets dropped, stuff gets misplaced (or maybe I slipped it into the trash when no one was looking). Hey, but perhaps your friend accidentally knocked them off your lap!!!

    Don't be any harder on yourself than you would be on her.

    That's not my way (I'm hard on myself), but it's the advice I like to offer others.

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    1. You have no idea how many times over the years I have looked down from the chair at orphan mittens and ski poles that people have dropped and thought to myself that people really need to be more careful. :-)

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  8. That's my biggest fear on a chairlift! Well, that and dropping a pole. Glad your hand survived! And they weren't the new Snawpaws, right?!?

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    1. Oh my goodness no, they weren't the new Snawpaws. I would have crawled down the mountain on my hands and knees, sifting through every square inch of snow, to get those back! :-)

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  9. I was sure when you started talking about your iPhone, that you would be "phone less" at the end of your post! The fact that it was a mitten might be less expensive a loss, but it makes me sad for you anyway. :-/ I am VERY impressed, however, that you had a spare pair, even though they were at the bottom of the mountain!

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    1. At least they were store bought mittens and not hand knit ones! My experience taking five kids skiing was that it was better to be safe than sorry. I still take extra mitts and poles when I go, even though I am on my own. Just in case.

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  10. I like the idea of mittens on a string....very practical......

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    1. When my kids were little I had their mittens on a string. I guess I will have to treat myself like I am four years old and get the kind with elastic bands that attach. :-)

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  11. lovely photos, so glad you got down in one piece and your fingers survived

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    1. I was lucky it was a mild day. I have been up there when it is -15, and had it been that cold I would have been at risk of getting frostbite. As it was, it just ended up being something funny to blog about. :-)

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  12. sorry to hear about the cold hand but I have to admit the story made me laugh, you have a very engaging way of writing!!

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  13. LOL! Im so pleased you made it back with both hands intact. I want to hear the story where you need a rescue toboggan!!

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    1. Oh I hope there never is a story where I need a rescue toboggan! The fact I haven't needed one yet is why I keep skiing. :-)

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  14. Kate and I think alike...as soon as I read 'mitten' I thought you had lost one of your new snowpaws and I was getting a little frantic. Then I saw the picture and the mitten on your hand was definitely not a handknit...I breathed a sigh of relief. Don't scare me like that! I have enough stress in my life... ;)

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    1. Sorry for the scare! I would never wear my good hand knit mittens up the ski hill. And if it had been one of the Snawpaws I would have attempted to recover it, even if it meant skiing back down a double black diamond to get it!

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  15. You had me laughing (sorry) on this lovely post (and I love the photos!)! You are a very talented writer........you made me feel like I was there with you! They make these really cute clip things to clip your mittens to your sleeve...........you should look into that!!!! lol

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    1. I know the clip things you are talking about. They sell them in the toddler section of the store. :-)

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  16. Your hands must have been frozen, it's such an easy thing to do! I never seem to go through a winter without losing one glove. I'm glad it wasn't your snowflakes one!
    Sarah x

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    1. I am pretty sure I would have attempted to rescue it had it been my snowflake mitten! And yes, my hand was pretty cold by the time I got to the bottom of the hill. A lesson learned!

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