So far the New Year has brought all kinds of excitement. Sort of. As much excitement can be had in life.

Yesterday brought the first day of normalcy in a long while – the busiest week of the season had passed, and with it the gaggles of Texans and Denverites that had been plaguing our slopes. After two weeks of nonstop work and chaos, we snagged this opportunity to get out on the hill, and the three and a half inches of fresh snow Saturday night didn’t hurt. Still working on my mogul skills (taking a lot of work…ouch), Jeff decided he would give me a little coaching. Of course, he and Dan, expert skiers that they are, weren’t super keen on sticking to “colored” runs with me. “Let’s take either Retta’s or Outrigger,” Jeff suggested, referring to two long, steep, bumpy blacks. Ha. Right. Of course, anxious for whatever help I can get, I followed along. So here I am, probably not more than twenty five days of skiing under my belt ever, staring down a steep pitch pimpled by thigh-high moguls. I wanted to cry. But I didn’t.

I made Jeff stay with me as I took it two, three, four at a time, fall. No big deal. About half way down it got steeper and Jeff directed me towards a cutoff path that brought me to a neighboring friendly blue. Sigh of relief. But I skiied a black! And his advice helped; the rest of the day all of my bumps felt better. Not that I’m a pro, and I still like runs with some kind of color in them (blue, blue-black), but hey, one step at a time, right? On top of that, it gave me the push I needed to take Panoramic (highest lift in the country…or something) to the highest point in the resort, 12,000 feet above sea level. Amazing. Above the tree line, real snow, fresh powder, completely free-form. LTD.

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