Although I’ve spent a number of years of my life in Utah I’ve never actually gone to any of the fine ski resorts to go skiing. That is until this past weekend, when our chief web designer invited me to go snowboarding at Snowbird. I remember in high school noticing that a lot of the other kids disappeared several days out of the week each winter to go skiing, and then some of them would turn up hobbling back to school in a cast. Not only was it an expensive sport to get into, it seemed to me like you’d probably break something along the way. I got enough encouragement to try it out this time, and I’m glad I did. The equipment rental turned out to be a lot more expensive than if I had just gone to a movie for the afternoon, or about five all day actually. I had a great time showing off my crashing skills, but after the first couple of runs I got the hang of it. I probably won’t get out of the Chikadee run for a while, but then I’m not in a hurry to leap off of any black diamond trails.
This reminds of someone Rich and Gaye met on their last trek through the Khumbu in the spring of 2001. That happened to be when Marco Siffredi was hiking up on an expedition to Mt. Everest with the intent to kill himself or coincidentally snowboard off of the summit down to base camp. He actually made it, swishing down over 8,000 feet from the summit to reach the base in about 2 and a half hours. That amazes me on so many levels, considering the intensity of the descent and all the time it took to get to the bottom. I could only hold up for 5 or 10 seconds at a time before my legs would cramp up and I’d start to feel like I was about to lose control. I’d purposely skid a little to slow down and take a light beating as I fell to the ground, just so I could get a rest without the cost of another major wipeout. Another remarkable factor was the elevation, since boarding takes a lot of exertion. I was only at 8,000 feet at the Snowbird slopes, and I was pretty winded already. I don’t care if it was 21,000 feet lower than Mt. Everest, I still would have liked a little extra O2.acclimatization exercise extreme cold weather Mt. Everest snowboarding