Finally put my first aid certification to the test on Saturday when, while skiing at Mont Blanc, came across a girl, about 11 years old, sitting in the middle of the hill, and what looked like a garage sale spread out downhill from her. A hat, mittens, goggles, splayed everywhere. I came to a stop, to pick up the hat, thinking that it was hers, but which in fact belonged to some other ‘boarder hopping his way back up the hill. The girl is crying, I’m trying to figure out what’s going on. It turned out that she was simply sitting on the hill (why do knucke-draggers do that?), in a blind corner, when this guy came zooming around the corner, saw her at the last second and tried to jump over her, only to (not) miss and struck her squarely in the top of the back. Le sigh.
So, start trying to calm her down, do my ABCs (airway, breathing, circulation). She thinks she’s bleeding from her back, so I’m faced with a dilemma: I need to verify her back, but she’s a girl. I could theorectically get into trouble for peeling up her shirt, but screw it, she might in fact be bleeding. Luckily, no blood. After a while, the ski patrol comes along, take charge and send me on my way. They’re about to strap her to a stretcher and, as I’m putting my skis back on, she says, “merci, monsieur.” In the same way she would speak to an adult. An older adult. Again, le sigh.
I have to remember, even though I know I’m hitting the big mumble-mumble-0 this week, that kids do see me as one of those ‘big’ people.
At the climbing gym today, training for my Red Rocks trip coming up. Again, a certain climber who goes by the initials CS is there. Having spoken to him once before, I figure we’re now best of friends, so I go over to say hi. Of course, he doesn’t know me from Adam. Which, naturally, gives me the opportunity to crack a joke I’ve been meaning to make since the last time: “You know, I’ve been watching you climb, and you seem kinda strong. I’m sure, if you trained, you might become quite good.”
Don’t know why, but he didn’t find the joke that funny.
Looking to lose some of those extra pounds that never seem to leave? Here’s a trick: order the beef burrito from Three Amigos. I swear, those kilos will be flushed away. And, if you’re anything like me, you’ll catch up on a lot of reading.
It had been in the planning stages for several weeks, with a bunch of emails going back and forth, much hair-pulling and teeth-gnashing over the warm weather, but things worked out in the end, and on Saturday morning I took off with a bunch of folks to do some back-country skiing down in Vermont.
The plan was to meet up at a trail-head on some rural road, all crowd in to two cars, and then drive around the mountain, where we ski back to the two other cars. Now, for anyone who’s seen the Amazing Race (I may have mentioned it once or twice), would certainly empathise with 10 adults squeezed into two cars packed with skis and backpacks, trying to find another trailhead with maps downloaded from a fifth-grade geography book (or so it seemed). After an hour of travelling through back roads, admiring the architecture of Vermont (and some of it is truly outstanding; round churches, who knew?), driving up wrong roads, getting out of and unloading the cars only to realise we weren’t at the right spot, getting back in, we finally found the trailhead. Everyone jumps out, half of us running to the woods to relieve our bladders.
We start to wax up our skis, I’m looking around, realising that, gosh, my groomed-trail x-country skis stand out next to everyone else’s gear, which happen to be more solidly built back-country stuff. Whatever, I think, I’ll just glide faster. Yeah, I’m an idiot.
We all take off on the trail, and after a couple hours I realise that I’m not bringing up the back because I want to, but simply because, damn!, these people are fit. And, hell, fresh snow is lovely, but wow does it ever take a lot to ski through it. Especially on x-country gear. Which I was on. Have I mentioned that?
We break for lunch about mid-afternoon, and I figure I’m done for the day. I still have about 7 km back to the trailhead, so I split off from the group. Come across an abandoned bus, parked in the middle of the woods. Next to an RV trailer. I have no idea how they got up there.
Meet up with the rest of the group a few hours later (they skied to the original trailhead to pick up the cars), and off we go driving again, looking for this massive yurt we had rented for the weekend. Which is only about a kilometer from the road, meaning shouldering all our bags, our food, our beer, and trudging through all the fresh snow that fell at the end of last week. We all pile into the yurt, which is outfitted with bunkbeds and a small woodburning stove. For some reason that my brain decided not to share with the rest of my body, I choose a top bunk. Which was really difficult to get in and out of. Especially at 5 in the morning, when my bladder was full, it was dark out, it was cold out, and it was snowy out. I swear I stepped on someone’s head.
Anyhow, the yurt was nice, the folks were nice, and I think it would have taken only a few more sips of alcohol before we all joined in a group hug to ward off the cold that our tiny stove could not overcome.
After breakfast on Sunday morning, repack our stuff and step out to an unforgettable scene: about 20 cm of fresh snow fallen on the fields, the woods, the mountains surrounding us. I didn’t bother taking a picture, I couldn’t have done it justice. I’m elected, and I don’t know how I got suckered into this, to break trail on the walk out. Thanks, ya bastards. Pile back into the cars, head to a nordic centre. The rest of the group decides to hit the real back country, I see that they have groomed trails that are still demanding so decide to stick with that. Beautiful, just beautiful day. Just gliding through the woods, clumps of snow becoming detached from the branches and floating down to the ground, almost defying the laws of gravity. Meet up with everyone at the end of the day, and all head back to Montreal. Where I guess it snowed as well, because as I got to my place, I was overjoyed to find that my car had been towed to the other side of the street, with a lovely ticket stuck to the windshield.
Never leave your car on the street when it’s snowing and you won’t be around for a few days. But everyone knows that, right?
It only took nearly two years, but I finally got the milliner to make me an original, Six Degrees Design, hat. Mmmm, comfy. I’m trying to convince her to make more of them; we could use the extra income to go on more trips.
Just adding my voice to the chorus of boos for last night’s conclusion of TAR. “He’s worthy of having my children.” Oy. Where’s my barf bag?
And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.
You know how someone you know, like a friend’s mother or whatever, waits until a few weeks after the holidays to buy their stuff for the following year? Like wrapping paper? I modified that trend a bit on Sunday when, while at Loblaws, saw that their President’s Choice Candy Cane ice, for two lousy bucks. Oh, sweet, tooth-breaking, headache-inducing goodness! Me likey.
The milliner, love that she is, made scallops in champagne sauce with garlic mashed potatoes, along with pears in a red wine sauce for dessert. This was Saturday night. I made roast beef (wine gravy) and oven-baked potatoes, along with green beans sauteed in garlic last night. Hmmm, alcohol-based food, heavy on the meat, all weekend. Unfortunately, I’ve got a doc’s appointment Tuesday, where my cholesterol will be checked. The doctors are gonna love me.
I’m typing away, look down at my desk and noticed some barely dried blood. Um, okay. Then, notice there’s blood on my fingers. Wha? I don’t have a nosebleed, my grey matter seems intact, I’ve got climbing scabs but they’re intact as well. This is just weird.
I haven’t even gotten through the first round of this.