|This will soon prove to be a poor decision.|
In the photo above I’m standing at the top of the Harakiri ski piste in Mayrhofen, Austria. This happens to be the steepest piste in the country at 78% (38º), and highly debated as the steepest in all of Europe, which is why, of course, the sign reads “Only for good Skiers.” To explain why I attempted such a daring act, I must go back a few months.
During the infamous Siegi Tours New Year’s Eve party, I won a free one-day private lesson with Michi - a bonafide member of the Siegi clan. Being a mediocre skier at best (and generally the anchor), this was a much-welcomed gift.
Fast forward to the 3rd week in February: Jeremy and I headed to Austria to cash in my winning prize. There was a clear difference in my skiing from beginning to end. Four hours later, I was skiing with ease and confidence. If you’re interested, you can find a video of that awesome day here. http://www.facebook.com/photo.
Ever since this time, however, I’ve grown rather big for britches. I now race down blue and red and black hills with far too much confidence. Attempting to conquer theHarakiki was a passing thought. I can handle black runs! No problem!
Little did she know ...
It started out okay; icy and steep but I took a few solid turns before epically biffing it.
I didn’t so much as fall but rather perform a150-meter tuck and roll. I ingested about 2 liters of snow while flying down on my stomach. I flipped over, and over, and around, and over.
It was a full-on yard sale (that’s skier speak for losing gear and articles of clothing while tumbling downhill) and I was a human pinwheel.
After what seemed like a painful eternity, the mountain tapered off. I looked upward to see a lanky Austrian stealthily skiing down the same hill, effortlessly picking up the pieces of my broken attempt without breaking stride. He stopped short of my crumbling body still lying in the snow and gently placed my ski and poles down before whisking off like some kind of biff angel.
At this point I could do nothing but laugh, which Bianca and Eric (two friends who witnessed it all) took as a good sign. I dusted snow out of every place imaginable, (yes, every place imaginable) and we three wondered how I managed to escape without serious injury. It apparently looked as bad as it felt.
The rest of the day, my confidence was shot. I got back up on that snowy horse, but I didn’t attempt any more death-defying feats. I’m not really one of those “no pain, no gain” girls. I think skiing is way more fun without tumbling face first down a run.
Today, I feel like I, well, fell down a mountain at record-breaking speeds. And as I nurse myself back to health, I realized that my body isn’t the only thing that got bruised.