Lost in Space

“Get Lost!” and “Forget it!”

Getting lost at a ski area is tough to do. Remember: when in doubt ski downhill. But I’ve been there and  I’ve done it. I’ve been lost! More than once!

There a couple memorable incidents, but believe me there are many more. I just don’t recall them at this moment. (Thank God!) But not to worry, my wife doesn’t forget any of my my less memorable antics.

Lost in time: Skiing Europe [ancient history]

Carolyn and I were exploring Austria in our “BC” years … “Before Children” … along with Greg, my roommate and close friend. We had flown into Munich on a chartered 707 out of Niagara Falls airport over the semester break of my super-senior year (yes, it could as expressed as “5/4”  … the fifth year in my four year undergraduate program).

Carolyn remained with the main student contingent that went straight to Innsbruck, while Greg and I visited the famous Hofbrauhaus, and the Bier gardens of Munich to arrive later the next day by train.

As we were reveling in the Alpine peaks, we did come within inches of “jumping” over a cliff that definitely would have precluded my skiing career and more. But this is not my “lost” story. Stumbling off a cliff is about youth, stupidity and the fog. OK, it was perfectly clear day. So “the fog” was more realistically a figment in our heads “hung over” attributable to our European nights “out on the town”.  Yea, all those night were such fun!

That day we got lost, we were skiing the peripheral runs to end up in a small hamlet at the end of the day. The mountains in Europe are more expansive and definitely more poorly marked than in the States.

Recall too that both Carolyn grandparents, significant to her upbringing, were from Manhein and Alsace. German was common in her household and she could read as well as speak the language.

So we meandered about and met an elderly couple that bade us enter and share their home, hospitality and. (what else?) some schnapps. Greg and I could not understand a single word, but we shared the love, the laughs and spirit of the moment. I don’t think we exchanged addresses but I regret it regularly as I mentally drift back to relive the experience.

I once was lost, but now I’m found …

So late in the dark of night, we’re back walking the narrow lane toward Innsbruck. I admit I’m a bit concerned and more importantly majorly lost! Carolyn worked with Greg and I us as best she could to ask in German, “Vo es Innsbruk?”. Verstain? Bitte? Hilfa!” “Where is Innsbruk?” “Understand?” “Please.” “Help!” And we sounded worst than I’ve tried to spelled.  (You’d expect me to know the last word, “hilfa”. It is part of my last name which can be loosely translated as “Helping stone”!)

So  we flag down the next car, which politely eases to a gentle stop. Greg and I approach with a plaintive, “Vo Es Innsbruk?”  Two young men garbed in stylish ski clothes furloughed their bow … no,  more like distorted their entire face to convey a total lack of understanding. Again.  And again – to no avail. Finally one of them, apologetically responses, “Sorry guys. We’re here from the States and can’t understand a word you’re saying.”

You guessed it! They were part of our own group; rental car; and they too were lost. Well we piled in the back and somehow made our return to the city, All accomplished with ample plenty of time to continue our après operations. And with two new friends to boot. Now, this day I won’t forhet!

There’s more …

I could go on much longer with more tales of “getting lost” It’s still an frequent occurrence when I’m exploring the peripheries or “bush-whacking”. When following snow cats or bob cats, it very common to “come out well below the lift. Boy, how much I hate having to struggle uphill in alpine equipment!

Forget it? No! I love it. I love to wander, I love to roam, I love to explore. I love to ski.

Come, Ski With Me!


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Skier, rider (of sorts), wanderer, teacher, coach, blogger (wannabe), perpetual child, ...