Friday, November 09, 2007



Skiing been always one of my passions. I got my first pair of skis for Christmas when I was about ten years old. Since then, there have only been a few years that I haven't made it onto the slopes.

I wish I had kept track. Unfortunately, I can now only slightly remember some of the places where I’ve been and the people that I went with.

From what I can remember, I’ve skied at 27 different resorts – scattered throughout 8 different states in the US (from Alaska to Vermont, New Mexico to Michigan) plus in 2 European countries (Austria and Switzerland). Some trips have been major events. Others planned no more than a day out.

Yes, I know, skiing is not cheap. Over the years I’ve easily spent more than $100 grand. It's been worth every penny. I guess you’d have to say it’s my drug of choice. (Some people go to concerts, I buy lift tickets.)

But more than the thrill of the hill, most trips have been about friends. Friends from college, friends from the neighborhood, friends from church, friends from work, friends “I just met,” and of course my best friend from first grade (even though we didn’t go skiing together until two years ago).

Here are some of my recollections:
Overall best skiing/resort: Vail (CO) – I once worked for a company that had a company condo in Vail … what a perk!
Best view: Stubaier Gletscher (Austia) – If you want to be close to God, go to the top of the Alps!
Most unique experience: Alyeska (AK) – Sea-level, and rain, at the base; often a blizzard at the top.
Most difficult: Snowbird (UT) – I know many skiers can’t get enough of the deep power in Utah, but I can do without it.
Most exciting lift: Axamer Lizum (Austria) – A relatively small resort in Tyrol, but just riding the cable car to the top (see photo above) is worth the trip.
Best sex: Winter Park (CO) – What can I say? It was a great trip.

There are two places I still dream about going:
Lake Louise/Banff, Canada
Portillo, Chile

I’m looking for friends that are interested!



cindra said...

Wow! That's impressive! Especially to my non-skiing self. What a fun essay. Thanks for that.

My drug of choice is books. Then you have to buy book shelves. It gets expensive, but not as expensive as skiing, I'm sure!

If I go to Winter Park do I have to ski or can I just have some best sex?

Doug said...

So you spent $100,000 on sex? Or skiing? Or both? ;)

Awesome photos, and it's a healthy passion, assuming you don't break something.

I tried skiing/snowboarding east of Seattle last year. My tailbone still creaks. I'm not cut out for skiing, I think.

Steven said...

I remember the years when we went as a family to Boyne, MI. I don't think I ever made it off the "bunny" hill. I went through many gloves that got "worn through" thanks to the tow ropes. :-)

Diesel said...

$100 grand?!?! I don't even like food THAT much.

Cooper said...

Paul, if you ever do visit Banff and Lake Louise, you must swing by and have dinner. I live about an 8 hour drive from there. Both are breathtakingly gorgeous places, summer and winter.

During our long snow season here, I ski often (at least 3 times a week). I am more a x-country skier than a downhiller, but there is a small ski hill only 2K from my house, so I like to take advantage of it, too. My nearest bigger ski resort is Powder King, and I went there four times last season and had a wonderful time ... such perfect pristine snow.

W said...

Skiing is a lot of fun, but I am a scared wuss. I see many fractured legs and arms at the beginning of winter term, when folks come back from their skiing jaunts. It's too bad that there's a nic ski place near my place but I haven't visited.

btw, I am Erik from Whittle et al.
Nice blog!

somewhere joe said...

There wasn't any good skiing in the immediate vicinity where I grew up. But there was frozen water galore; we spent the winter on skates.

Skiing is a passion that can be indulged all over half the world. Sounds like you've sampled your share of the local, um, slopes already.

dbv said...

I have some friends building a ski in/ski out home in telluride where I will learn how to ski when the place is finished... by next christmas, or so the builder says, but anyway, i'm game when i learn how... i've done winter drive thru the alps and i couldn't agree more about the views!!

Jessica Foster said...

If it's your true passion it's worth any price. Never apologize for following your heart and soul.

Me? I sadly lack the grace required for such a sport--but I'm jealous of the amazing photo opportunities you must come across on the slopes.

Gillian @ Indigo Blue said...

Wow Paul...that is very cool. I never learned to ski. I am clutzy and accident prone. I like my bones in one piece, not broken! So, hence, I did stay away from the slopes. I'd join you in Lake Louise though, to document the journey in photographs, and to be sure you guys had a warm drink waiting when you got back to the chalet. Yes, I am a primo bench warmer.
Cider, or hot chocolate?

Gawpo said...

Are you Cucking FIDDING ME!!!?!!! No only had I never ever HEARD of Luzum prior to meeting my two new friends in Rome (Louis and Kate), but their son, Hugh, works at the joint. He manages the bar there. He is always on the live webcam. This is just blowing me away. Now I need to go see what he's doing.

Louie showed me many photographs of Hugh and his brother and their friends skiing and tossing up snow. They climb the mountain and take chances. They try to get The Matterhorn in as many shots as they can.

Gawpo said...

I hope I have the right place. The webcam isn't on. It's "auf." Okay, well, maybe I have the wrong place. They all sound alike.