"Just follow me..."

e have been waiting all week to go to the very tip top of Whistler Mountain. There is an Inukshuk monument up there.  We get off the chairlift and are amazed.  It is gorgeous.  Spectacular.  Imagine a superlative and it applies to the spectacle of the view surrounding us.  After taking it all in, we decide how to go down.  Alysha wants to go down the face.  Cristina is the first to say no.  Noelle and Susan follow Cristina.  Ed follows us, but takes a look over the cliff and turns back.  Alysha looks at me and I can’t say no.  (I need to learn how to say no).  So off they go and I turn left to follow my middle child.

We get to a path with moguls up to my waist  It is about six feet wide.  No bloody way.  Alysha is already down it, beckoning me.  I’m no dummy so I sit down on my bum and slide down it – bump by bloody bump about 10 feet.  The path widens and I’m in the bowl.  A little kid and his parents whiz by.  I stand up.

The problem with sitting and sliding is that it is not exactly a confidence booster.  As I stand I realize I should have paid more attention.  The sign did say “most difficult” way to get down.  I don’t know what I was thinking.  It is very steep, raw and filled with high moguls.  I actually manage to get down it a bit until Alysha calls out: “we need to head to the right over those cat tracks.”

I watch her go down a bit more and traverse.  Looks easy.  So I follow her.

Now, it is a testament to my true love and devotion that I think Alysha knows where she’s going.  Alysha is notorious for getting lost.  Of everyone in our family, she’s the one most likely (other than me) to take a wrong turn.

So off I go, traversing and following.  And then I am on the cat tracks and I realize.  Holy crap!  The only tracks are Alysha’s and I’m on the face of a boulder/cliff/drop off.  I freeze and decide to lie down on the mountain facing up.

Alysha is about 30 feet in front of me.  “Come on mom” she yells nicely.  The fact that she isn’t acting impatient or put out is a clue to me.  She knows she needs to be nice because I’m stuck on a flipping cliff!

I can’t move.  I look down – there’s nothing.  If my ski moves to the right one inch, I’m off the edge.  “I can’t do this”  I yell.  And then I start getting borderline hysterical (ok maybe completely hysterical).  I’m thinking – I’m going to move and the whole thing including me is going to go over.  I start thinking of heights and how much I don’t like them.  I can’t get up.  I can’t move.  I start – yes I admit it – to cry.  Boo Hoo.  And tears float to the bottom of my goggles.

Alysha takes off her skiis and begins to hike up a little.  She is still being sweet and encouraging.  Somehow I stand up and lean to the right. I'm shaking - almost shivering with fear.  I manage to stay on top of that gigantuously enormous rock and get to her before I start having a holy cow.  “I could have died” I’m blubbering.  And she is standing there smiling at me.  “Good job mom!”  Aaargh.  If I wasn't wearing skiis I would have stomped my foot.  “I will never ever follow you again you almost killed me.”

She says something soothing and finishes floating down the face.  I’m going about as fast as a slug carefully picking my way over the terrain.  I have no confidence.  I feel like I’m about three and she’s become my mother.  Finally, we get to the bottom.

Yay moomy!  If she didn't have on gloves she'd be clapping.  I try to give her the evil eye but it doesn't work.

The first run of 2011 New Year’s day.  Wonder what the rest of this year will bring…

Pictured: Cristina, Alysha, Noelle, my sister Susan and me (in the red coat).