I’m thinking that an emergency oxygen mask should be designed into ski head wear — for anyone skiing in altitudes above 9000′. Wait a minute! Hear me out on this. It would work just like in the airlines. As soon as the oxygen level gets too low…the mask would drop outta your hat — and voila — you could breathe easy again.
It might even be useful in places like Denver too. Let me digress…I watched Denver headline news on TV. A roving band of 3 coyotes seek out women walking their dogs. Local politicians want a law placing a curfew on roving coyotes. Convenience store robbers were caught on tape wearing thongs over their heads. Sigh…I wish I was making this up.
With 8 new inches of snow, we were excited to start skiing – our first day at THE BRECK. We had maps, and lots of information…but it was all too confusing. Maybe we’ll just follow some fellow skiers out of our building to see where they go? First, we pile about 50 pounds of clothing on, and another 20 pounds of extras – including phone, camera, shuttle bus maps, ski maps, water, snacks – and anything else we thought we couldn’t live without for the next 6 hours. Add to that skis, poles and trying to maneuver walking in very stiff boots, we looked like the Michelin man with unbend able legs. We followed our ski comrades down an icy hill…and sure enough, the shuttle bus was just pulling up. Without any oxygen here, we ran, slipped and acted like a couple of city-folks not wanting to miss their bus. The Breckenridge bus drivers are very patient…and waited for us to board. We sat on the bus trying to look like we were “in the know”, having no clue where the bus was going.
Suddenly, everyone got off the bus. This must be our stop too! We followed the ski crowd – to the Snowflake Chairlift. Who needs a map? We got on the chairlift like everyone else, and kept our fingers crossed that there would be a BLUE trail at the top. Not ready to start the first run of the day on a double-black. Spent the next 6 hours skiing carefree — from trail to trail, peak to peak – up over 11,000 feet in elevation, ambivalent to how little oxygen was getting to our brains. Took the 4 O’Clock trail, with the intent to SKI back to our cabin. We skied right past the cutoff to our cabin. Oops. Time to climb a zillion steps, walk an extra 1/4 mile and lug equipment that felt HEAVIER than when we started.
Despite the lack of O2…it was a glorious day skiing in the Rockies — one that we intend to repeat tomorrow!