Ski-sus Christ, it’s almost winter!

What? Winter’s holy.

We had our first snowfall this week! Ok, it barely accumulated and melted immediately, but it gets me excited for the upside of winter—skiing!

Other than during a field trip in elementary school, I never skied again until January 2010. My then new friend Barbie (real name, fake name, real name, fake name?…) invited me on a ski trip to Mt. Tremblant in Quebec with her friends. I was invited in January. The trip was in February. Sure! I skied one time twelve years ago. I’ll learn to ski well enough to tackle an actual MOUNTAIN by then! No problem!

And actually, SURPRISE! I did. No seriously, I did! I think my years of dancing gave me super-human balancing abilities or something (but wait, didn’t you fall off your bike while standing still in I’m on a bike? Yes. Shut up, you). I will admit, my first time down a hill that winter in 2010 was a bit of a rough start. In slow motion (and with some vocal trepidation: “Oh no…oh noooooohhhh nooooo…OOOOHHHH NOOOO…), I skied right into the orange fencing along the side of the hill and got stuck. But since then, it’s been a breeze! (Don’t worry, I’m knocking on wood right now. And you might recall from Deadwood, I happen to have an abundance of it…)

Before I get to the Mt. Tremblant adventures, I’d like to share with you a few observations I’ve made about skiing in general from my very special perspective.

First of all, it is CRUEL to make a person write down their weight in order to rent skis. Yes, I’m sure there’s some logical, scientific, life-saving reason to wear skis that correspond to your weight. But, as a woman with a wee bit of self-induced curvature, I can’t help but feel inclined to lie a little anytime I see Weight: ___. Am I right, ladies?

The first time I rented skis as an adult, I underestimated my weight by about ten pounds. I’m forever haunted by the look on a male friend’s face when he snuck a look at the number and said, “Really?!”

I’ve never been able to figure out what the “Really?!” meant:

“Really?! You don’t look that big!”


“Really?! You look way bigger than that!”

Even the more positive option isn’t very affirming, because I was LYING.

Anyway, once I bought my own skis, I thought I had rid myself of any weight-complex issues when it comes to skiing.

But let’s talk about the ski lift for a second.

The chairs are suspended from the track by a single bar hanging from the middle. If there are two people on a lift, the chair will tilt towards the heavier person. This is most noticeable when, say, a father and his young son sit together. Obviously, the chair will tilt towards the father. No shame.

But what happens when a young woman with a wee bit of self-induced curvature gets on a lift with that same father? If she happens to weigh more than him, it will tilt in her direction, and all the people will see the off-balance chair making its way up the hill and they will stare and point and laugh!

I remedy this situation by sitting obnoxiously close to the centre of the chair if I’m with another person. Weight distribution. It’s physics, people. Some strangers have done a noticeable scooch away from me…but I don’t mind! They’re playing right into my hand. Yes…get away from the center and make it tilt towards YOU, skinny bitch!

One more thing.

I believe I’ve alluded to the fact that I don’t enjoy strangers talking to me, and yet I am a target for stranger danger conversation. A couple of winters ago, I had a membership to the local ski hill. I went almost every weekday evening, by myself, to enjoy some alone time (I say that as if I need to SEEK it out).

The problem with a small hill versus a mountain is that you have to encounter the ski lift operators at the bottom of the hill many, many times in one ski outing. Sure, there’s only ten seconds from when you shimmy up to the line until you sit on the chair and are whisked away. Normally, it’s nothing more than, “Having fun?” “Yup!” so I deal with it.

But they start to notice when you come by yourself every night. Then, they start to talk to you. And, by they, I mean a man who’s too old to be wearing Billabong.

“You come here a lot by yourself.”

“Uhhhh….yes I doooooo…” Up the hill I go.

Back I come.

“How come you’re by yourself?”

“Because I ammmmm…” Up the hill I go.

Back I come.

“Why doesn’t your boyfriend come with you?”

Great. “Uhhhh, he doesn’t skiiiiiii…” Up the hill I go.

Back I come.

“So why doesn’t your boyfriend ski?”

“Sorry, can’t hear you, listening to musicccccc…” Up the hill I go.

Back I come.

“What are you listening to?”

“Pardonnnnnn?…” Up the hill I go.

Back I come.

“I said, what are you listening to?”

“Sorry, I missed what you saiddddd…” Up the hill I go.

Back I come.


“The radiooooo…” Up the hill I go.

Back I come.

“What station are you listening to?”

“Pardon? Sorry I can’t hearrrrrr…” Up the hill I go.

Back I come.

“I said, what station are you listening to?”

“I don’t knowwww…” Up the hill I go.

Back I come.

“So, what grade are you in?”

“I’ve been out of university for yearssssss…” Up the hill I go.

Back I come.

He stops talking to me.


Ok, neuroses aside, here are some stories from the big ski trip of 2010.

I’m pranked

We all know I love a good prank (yes, again, for those keeping track, the Mysterpranker and the Impostermysterpranker, if they aren’t one in the same, are still on the loose). As a newbie to Barbie’s friendship circle, I guess they thought it would be funny to play one on me when we got to the ski chalet. After the long drive to Mt. Tremblant, Quebec, we unpacked and got ready to go explore the village for the evening. I was the last to finish changing and when I came downstairs from my bedroom, they were nowhere to be found.

It’s not like I was that smelly kid on the playground who everyone ran away from, but when people hide on me, I can’t help but revert back to childhood and feel totally self-conscious. Why are they picking on meeeeee??? Since there was no grass to stubbornly slump down on, cross-legged and arms folded, until they realized I wasn’t going to play their mean game, I had to explore.

I figured they were just waiting for me outside. I got bundled up and walked down the obnoxiously long stairway leading from the chalet to the parking lot. No one was around. I didn’t take that long to get ready. They wouldn’t leave without me, would they? I paused, looked around, then after a couple of minutes, gave up and stomped all the way back up the stairs and into the chalet.

I did my best to act nonchalant as if I was in on it too. I was new to this group and didn’t want to seem like a spaz. But I was so confused! I walked all around the chalet until I finally heard giggling from one of the bathrooms and figured it out. Ha. Ha. Good one.

I learned later that when I left the chalet, they emerged from their hiding spots and watched me the entire time from the window as I struggled up and down the snow-covered stairs and dopily looked around like a lost puppy dog.

The lame tourist

Traumatization aside, Mt. Tremblant was awesome.

View of Mt. Tremblant from the chalet.
View of Mt. Tremblant from the chalet.
Barbie and I on the mountain.
Me and Barbie on the mountain.
I'm pretty sure it's mandatory for every ski village to have oversized furniture...
I’m pretty sure it’s mandatory for every ski village to have oversized furniture…

Much to my chagrin, towards the end of the trip, my stupid knee started hurting. I took a day off from the slopes to recuperate and spent it wandering the village by myself. I did things like this:

Canada's version of a sucker.
Canada’s version of a sucker.
Oh look! Now I'm eating it!
Oh look! Now I’m eating it! What a clever shot. Without it, no one would know what happened. That’s right, 2010 Lauren did selfies.
This is a mouse on the street. I followed it for a while. Some tourists started to join me, but when they realized it was just a mouse that captured my attention, they went away, for some reason.
This is a mouse on the street. I followed it for a while. Some tourists started to join me, but when they realized it was just a mouse that captured my attention, they left me, for some reason.

Oh sap!

For the last couple days of our trip, the group decided to try out a smaller mountain nearby called Mt. Blanc. Barbie and I thought it would be a good idea to explore one of the small trails in the forest between the runs. These trails tend to be a bit twisty and bumpy, and also just wide enough for one person at a time. I’m sure you see where this is going…

Barbie went first. She stopped next to a small tree halfway through and waited for me to come behind her. I did, except even though I was skiing very cautiously and slowly, I couldn’t seem to stop. All Barbie could hear was my patented, “Oh no….oh no….” as I lost control and in slow motion, came down the trail directly at her. I crashed into her and we fell, somehow tangling ourselves up with the tree. Like, we were REALLY tangled. I didn’t know my legs could bend that way. After the laughter stopped, we had to detach our skis to get back up.

But that wasn’t the funny part. Later that day, we were sitting on the ski lift together. We both started sniffing. “What’s that smell?” “It smells like pancakes!”

Tree sap. We were covered in it.

I do moguls

Remember, this was my first ski season. But I figured, how many other chances will I have to attempt moguls while skiing? I announced to the group that I was going to separate from the pack and, you know, do some moguls. They looked at me like I was crazy and strongly advised against it. “Don’t worry, I got this.”

FYI, this is what moguls look like:

But there were no ramps on this hill, gosh darn it.

I’m not really a daredevil, so my version of moguls was an eighty-year-old’s version. And, instead of shooping between the bumps like you’re supposed to, I mostly just spread my skis apart and let the bumps slowly go between my legs (yes, that’s what I said. Ew).

There was a chair lift above the moguls, so I had a bit of an audience. About halfway down the hill, just when I was feeling pretty proud of myself for at least attempting it, I overheard two French men from above. They were chuckling at me and I heard one of them say, “A hon hon hon (French laugh), une novice!”

Awwwwww mannnnn! How’d they know?!

This picture would be so much cooler if I knew the people behind me.
This would be a cool selfie (if there’s such a thing) if I knew the people behind me.




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