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February 19, 2008

Jarrett's First Black Diamond

I took Jake and Jarrett out on Saturday at Brian Head. Jarrett is skiing Jake's old K2's which are probably about 10 cm too big at 125. We are working on parallel turns, but he is still in the wedge / snowplow / pizza stage.

It was really incredible for me to take him out this last time. I have had six years of Jake skiing with me almost every trip. To the point where I don't even enjoy going out unless he is with me. We talk trash to each other and make fun of ourselves and other skiers. We both really learned together because when I got started again in 2002, I hadn't skied in 9 years and wasn't that good even then. It brought back a bunch of memories of Jake and I going up to Sunrise so many times. There was probably a foot or so of powder that we took Jarret down and it reminded me of Jake and me skiing Phoenician at Sunrise on our first real powder day together. Both of us postholing down after about the fourth wreck in the first 50 yards.

Jarrett's experience wasn't a lot different than Jake's. I remember Jake crying and saying "I can't. I can't. I want to go home. I just want to go home. I hate skiing." Jarrett had perhaps the hardest wreck I have seen in a while, right onto his shoulder. After he got over the initial shock and back to the chair, I told him that we have to take the chair back up because The Plunge is on Dunes and it requires a lift ride to the top to ski back to the base. By the time we got to the top, I had convinced him to take another run, this time on a blue. And we finished the day skiing groomers with a little bit of packed pow for another half a dozen runs. He got back up and kept going. And went home and told mom how much fun he had.

After we took Jarrett back to the condo at about 2:00, Jake and I skied the rest of the day. We were laughing about Jake and all the stuff we had done when we sucked. =) I spent most of the trip back to Phoenix daydreaming and thinking back about Jake learning and where he is now. And I kept thinking about what it is going to be like when Jake is 15 and Jarrett is 11. When we are hiking and skiing Wolf Creek and Alberta Peak or the Knife Ridge. And thinking about how exciting it will be when Jarrett is able to keep up on a powder day. Then when he really starts getting it. Making parallel turns and using his poles.

And then I got thinking about all my complaints about Brian Head and how Jake and I have graduated beyond what it offers. But how it is perfect for Jarrett. And why I ski. Is it just about a rush and me and pow and steeps? Or is it about having Jake there by my side, riding the lifts, talking, connecting, and bonding? We learned together and we keep learning together. And for the first time, Tera and Lindsey stayed for 3 days and it was enjoyable. Lindsey stayed out of stuff, hung out, slept in a bed instead of the playpen, and didn't want to come home. And it won't be too long before she is skiing groomers at Brian Head for the first time.

Posted by Justin at February 19, 2008 12:16 PM


This is a very sweet essay!!

Did you watch me learn to snowboard yet? NOO?

Posted by: Caroline at February 21, 2008 10:21 AM