don’t fall on your face || Telluride

Siblings always have the best advice.

Elise: “Fall on your butt, not your face.” Wise, don’t you think? Wise beyond her (almost) 18 years.

This is the kind of advice you can use 365 days a year. But it’s particularly poignant when faced with throwing yourself down an icy mountain while strapped to a board. Which is what I did this weekend. I’m not as wise as my sister.

I have lived in Colorado my entire life. Contrary to popular belief, this doesn’t automatically make me an obsessive snowboarder or downhill skier. I know! I too was shocked. As was everyone who has ever asked me about this. But it’s true. Prior to this weekend, I have been snowboarding twice in 13 years. This trip marked my third time ever attempting this flying feat. The scene: Telluride, Colo. Elevation: 8,750 feet. The motivation: To not die or be seriously maimed. (Can you be non-seriously maimed?)

This is how it went:

  1. Get gear.

  2. Ride up the lift to the top of the mountain.

  3. During the ride up, get rather alarmed at how steep the slope below appears.

  4. Attempt to get off the lift without looking like a total incompetent mess.

  5. Be unsuccessful.

  6. Ask Dan to describe how exactly one snowboards.

  7. Ask for more clarity.

  8. Ask for specifics.

  9. Ask if there’s an option to be airlifted off the mountain.

  10. Start sliding down the mountain.

  11. Fall.

  12. Fall.

  13. Fall.

  14. Fall.

  15. Narrowly avoid going down the wrong hill.

  16. Narrowly avoid falling into a shallow ravine. (OK, it was a ditch, but “ravine” sounds more risky.)

  17. Fall.

  18. Fall.

  19. Start to sort of get the feel for it. Maybe. A little.

  20. Fall.

  21. OK, I got it! Look, I did it!

  22. Fall.

  23. Ouch.

  24. Agh!

  25. My knee!

  26. Wait, I got it!

  27. No, really, I got this.

  28. Fall.

  29. Fall.

  30. Fall.

  31. Just leave me here to die.

  32. MEDIC!

  33. Limp to the finish.

  34. Repeat.

I was bruised and sore and mildly incapacitated.

I am however happy to report that I did not fall on my face. So basically a win.

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