Uncontrollable Slide

That was the phrase of the weekend. We laughed as we saw the sign that read, “Icy conditions today. You are entering a steep area where a fall could result in an uncontrollable slide.” Don’t know why, but it stuck all of us as funny. Fortunately, we were still able to laugh as each of us demonstrated (involuntarily) our own interpretation of that concept.

S took a turn too quickly on his snowboard, literally tumbling head over heels down the mountain, making several full rotations before somehow popping back up into a standing position then continuing down the mountain. He never stopped. Impressive.

Em was next. She’s a beautiful snowboarder, constantly focusing on form, carefully executing each turn. She, too, slipped, her board flying out from under her, her lithe body spinning and turning until she reached a plateau on the mountain. I had already tackled the slope in my haphazard reckless style, watching her tumble from my resting position from the bottom of the mountain. I knew everything was okay when she halted to a stop, paused, then produced her contagious laugh.

My turn, however, wouldn’t come until the end of the day, the last run. The lifts had closed and we were headed down the mountain, along with all the other snow enthusiasts visiting Squaw. The easy, winding road was crowded with skiers and boarders of all levels, some whooshing mercilessly past, others creeping along, legs splayed in many directions. I saw my opportunity to break free from the crowd, a steep slope off the to the left that few others were attempting. I carefully began down the incline, noticing it was much icier than other slopes, perhaps because of its shady location. All was fine until my trusty board slipped out from under me. On the hard ground, too tired to stand up from a sitting position, I flipped over onto my stomach in order to push up from a kneeling position. Which would have worked, except as soon as I was on my belly, I experienced my own uncontrollable slide. Down, down, down the mountain I went. I tried to dig my board into the slope, kicking furiously. I offered outstretched arms to the mountain, unsuccessfully grasping and clawing at anything that would reduce my ever increasing momentum. As I slid feet first, on my belly, down the mountain, I glanced up at the astonished faces peering down at me from their stationary, in control positions. A child pointed and screamed, “Mommy! Look!” I replied, “Look out! Coming throuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugh…” Finally, with an unprecedented force, I rammed into a snowbank at the bottom of the slope. My cheeks burned from the constant contact of my face to the mountain. I took a deep breath, turned over, and sat up. This time, it was Em at the bottom of the mountain, smiling at my unique interpretation of a spectacular uncontrollable slide.

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