Whale’s tail is one of the most spectacular ski runs in Summit County, in my humble, okay, not so humble opinion. I have always felt exhilarated when skiing it. It’s a double black diamond, so half the excitement is dropping into the bowl. The views are breathtaking.
See those little dots looking over the cornice? They are skiers or boarders contemplating the drop.
After a partial knee replacement repaired damage from an old ski injury, I had to give myself stomach shots to keep from clotting and my knee didn’t heal. It swelled and both legs atrophied. One year later, I skied Whales Tail, but struggled. After that, I took it easy. Single blacks were my limit. No doubles. Why take chances, right?
I hired a personal trainer but still didn’t feel strong enough. Then I pinched my meniscus over the holidays. Are you kidding me? We took a family trip to Park City. While everyone else hit the double blacks, I stuck to blues and blacks and played it safe.
Memorial Day rolled around. Breckenridge extended their season with a few runs on Peak 6 and 7. Not wanting to ski slush all day, I took the T-bar to the top. I hadn’t been up there for a while. After a quick warm up, I said to my husband, Danny, “Let’s take Imperial.” That’s the lift to Whales Tail.
I was ready.
It’s not often that Lake Dillon is open when I’m skiing. See it in the distance?
I had a conversation with myself as I rode up the lift into the clouds:
“You’re ready, right?” I asked myself.
“Yeah, I guess,” I answered.
“Well it’s a helluva lot better than hitting the slush and breaking your tibia above your boot.”
“It happens. Just turn your shoulders and stick your butt out. You’ll be fine.”
“Unless I fall.”
“Don’t say that. Don’t even think it. You’ll will it to happen to us!”
“Okay, okay! I’ve wanted to see those views for long time now.”
“It’s time. To get off the lift! Snap out of it!!!! You can do this. You got this”.
“Yeah, yeah. See you at the bottom. I mean, well, I’ll be fine.”
Skiers and boarders hike about ten feet up to enter between the snow fences. Then we ski the narrow ridge to the Tail. I had taken a photo here years ago. Nothing had changed.
My heart filled. It’s one of my favorite places in the world.
The snow was like ice cream, thick but easy to maneuver. I never worried about falling although I carved wide turns. My knees didn’t hurt at all. Yay!
My first time skiing double blacks in three years. Yes!
Good thing I talked myself into it.
Have you talked yourself into anything lately? Do you talk to yourself?
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