Unlocking Keystone

KEYSTONE, Colo. — It happened, as most accidents do, in an instant.

Tearing down the mountain on a hair-raising blue run, I felt my weight shift backward and the skis flipped out from under me. Down the slope I went, skidding feet-first about 100 feet before coming to a rest.

No blood stained the snow, and a helmet protected my skull as it whacked the slope. But now came the hard part of the equation — righting myself on a hypotenuse.

Attaching skis is tricky enough on flat ground. But doing it on a 35-degree grade at 9,200 feet, where the air’s as thin as Angelina Jolie’s arms, is almost cruel.

Attempts one, two and three launched a string of profanities that echoed to the village. But on the fourth try, I was successful and joined my son, who thankfully had waited for me by a clump of evergreens.

Ski rentals, lift tickets, cotton mouth, nosebleeds, altitude headaches. Lugging skis and poles back the room while you’re dead-tired at day’s end.

Having fun has never been so much work.

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