Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Day at Snowbasin -Challenges

    I ventured off to Snowbasin today hoping to have a routine drive to perhaps one of my favorite geezer ski areas.   Not to be.   A significant snow storm arrived during the day and made driving into the area with my rental car a challenge.   Fortunately I made it up all right and did get on the slopes for a short while.  The price of admission was right since geezers of 75 and over ski free at Snowbasin.  The conditions were challenging with high winds, snow and poor visibility.   It was difficult to exit the Needles Gondola because of a huge wind gust into our faces.   There were several crashes in front of me as we started out.   It was a time to be cautious.  
   My run down the mountain was successful with several stops along the way to recharge my batteries.  The combination of wind, snow and the need to be cautious sucked the energy out of me.   Rather than push myself beyond my limits I terminated my day early in hopes that I would be able to get down from the ski area on open roads.   My early departure paid off and I was able to get back to Salt Lake City to the condo in one piece.
   I had a couple of interesting people encounters at Snowbasin.   First the lady ticket agent looked at me with a smile and doubted my age of 75 as I showed her my license proof.   Secondly as I sat down in Earl's Lodge to put on my boots a guy walked up and asked if I was "fixin  to leave".  I immediately recognized he was from south of the Mason Dixon Line.  Sure enough, I was correct.   He now is an area resident enjoying a semi-retirement.    On my ride up in the gondola I encountered a native Tough Old Geezer Skier, David Banner who is a legendary character at the area.  He said he started skiing in 1939 and I believe he was about 89.   A real interesting committed skier with duct taped gloves, and well worn gear.   But still great enthusiasm for the sport.  The rest of the crew of eight passengers included a ski patroller, an engineer and two daughters, and a mother employed  by a granola company with her daughter.   I guess we represented a small piece of Americana.

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