Texas Skiers


I grew up skiing. We started at at Broden’s San Isabel hill. It was a single hill with a rope tow. We had wooden skies, cable bindings, lace up boots. We were bundled up like Randy in “Christmas Story”. For those of you unfamiliar with a rope tow, you slide over to the rope, line your skis up in a groove, put the rope in your right hand in front of you, while letting rope glide through your hand and then the hard part comes. You take your left hand and grip the rope behind your back, squeeze hard and if your shoulders stay in the socket you fly up to the top of the hill. In 1962 my dad bought into Monarch Ski area. I still have a lifetime pass. I know every square acre of that whole mountain. I was spoiled; we knew most everyone on the mountain or so we thought. However, every Christmas and Spring Break, Salida was invaded by 100’s of Texans. I will default to stereo types— loud, pushy, hot girls, horrible skiers. We took delight in directing them to black diamonds or dead ends. I skied for 50 years, my knees won’t work anymore so I go skiing in my memories.
Last week I picked up three twenty-somethings at DIA who had never been to Colorado, never skied, full of questions and yes, from Texas. “Where are you going”? “We don’t know, do you have any suggestions”? We began an interchange that revealed a naïveté of Texas proportions. They were oooooing and ahhhhing about the whole front range. “Think of all of Colorado as a wrinkled sheet. If you flattened out all the surface area guess what it would cover? “We give”. “Texas… we have more surface area than Texas”. “So where should we go”? “First of all, book a total half day lesson package. Then take off at 5:30am, as the traffic is horrible”. They literally booked everything at Loveland per my recommendation. “I think you saved us a lot of hassle”. “Yep”… this was my amend for sending about 10 Texans from a Baptist youth group, in l967, down a path that the only way out was to hike back up.
A side note. My daughter, a light of my life, said, “I will never marry: a single child, blonde, blue eyed Texan. Christian Piatt is all of those… and I have fallen in love with Granbury, Texas – their home.
Onward and Upward, Mark

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