The hubs & I thought we would try skiing Sandia last weekend. We drive the 20-30mins to the tram station & find out the tram is closed for the expectation of high winds later in the day. Did you know that Albuquerque boasts the world’s longest tramway? Hopefully, we’ll get up it sometime…maybe when we have visitors. The tram lady said that the ski slopes were open and that we could take the road up on the other side of the mountain. This involved another hour or so of driving. As we worked our way up to the ski area noting a few other people headed up & down as well, we came to a standstill behind a line of cars rounding a curb. We could see a couple cars stopped facing the other direction as well. After a bit of a wait, someone made their way by us, let us know that the road ahead was “like an oil slick,” and nobody was getting past it. Noting the drivers ahead & coming back down unsuccessfully traversing the road, we decided to amscray. Basically, we didn’t want that older gent slip-sliding his way back toward us to ram us into the side of the mountain. Sam aptly maneuvered us out of there and back down the mountain we went.
At this point you may be thinking, welp, time to give the day up as lost, to realize the powers at be must not want us to ski today. Have I mentioned yet that Sam & I are a bit stubborn? We weren’t about to waste the skis we had already rented for the day, so back to Santa Fe we went – a 45min drive to town plus 45 more mins up mountain. When we made our way through the town & to the mountain road, we were met by a decent bit of snowfall that turned to an almost white-out situation at times.
Still undeterred, we pressed on. The roads weren’t bad despite the falling snow. We made it to the ski area and trudged up from the parking lot, toting all of our gear. I might be in favor of renting on location in the future just to avoid the toting : ) We finally made it on the slopes, and one trip down told us that we should up the ante on our gear. Active snowfall & wind made for chilling conditions. Shop hit for some more protection & up we go again.
I know you’ll be glad to hear that I didn’t fall once exiting the lifts. Don’t worry though, I still had plenty of spills to tell you about. Skiing in fresh powder is a bit different. I found it a nice change on the greens (yes, I ski greens. I am a beginner.), but a not-so-nice one on the blues, which were suddenly covered in moguls. Also, Sam lectured me excessively on being careful when turning because the people behind me might not see me in the poor visibility. So, off we go, down the day’s first blue run: bumps, bumps, bumps, too much speed, need to turn, is that people behind me?, too fast for me, ok i have got to slow down, turning, 180, falling backwards downhill, spread eagle with a head smack finish, thank goodness for the darned fresh snow powder! Sam asked where my goggles are, & I thought they were on my face. Whoopsies! Don’t worry – I thoroughly assessed my head injury status before slowly sitting, then standing. No pain beyond the first bit, no bump, no headache, clear vision, no dizziness/lightheadedness. I asked Sam about my pupils, and he said “brown” – that earned him a big eye-roll. Pupils equal & properly sized. Yep, my head was fine. That night, when I was laying down in bed, I found out that my neck was what got jacked. It felt like I pulled every single muscle present on all sides of my neck. Not pleasant. I had a couple more spills from running straight into the side of more moguls…that is not the way to traverse them if you were wondering. Your skis get stuck, and you topple right over. I think this picture is from one of those occasions because I am still in possession of my goggles.
We took our chilly & my beaten self home after only a couple of hours of gusty, snowing, poor viz skiing. Really, though, I still had fun, despite the interesting conditions. And hey, we didn’t waste our ski rental!