(Disambiquation: this post refers to ’99’ as in ‘Number of days that I’ve skied so far this year’. For Barbara Feldon’s role in ‘Get Smart’, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agent_99#Characters  . For the song by Toto that I almost get out of my head until I remember that today is day 99, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oi6PY8AG5Ic )

Here’s Lower Hades from the turn at Paradise, on Purgatory’s front side:

LowerHadesFrom the lift to here, Upper Hades and Paradise are both groomers – at this point, the weenies turn left and follow the groomers. Dropping straight down, it’s bumps all the way down to the lift on Lower Hades.

The skier you see was standing looking down when I pulled up and pulled out my camera to take this picture; he looked at me and asked

Him: Do you think it’s soft enough?
Me: I just took Styx down and things were soft and edgeable.
Him: But Styx is mostly groomed, right?
Me: I didn’t ski the groomed part! Going to Styx to ski the groomed is like going to Las Vegas to be a Baptist!

As you can see, he was convinced. And, yes, the bumps were nice.

Day 99 of skiing. For a po’ boy from Flat Red Clay, Abalamba, it’s a dream come true.

That much skiing gives one a feeling of familiarity, a sense of rhythm and place. Today, I could feel my hips moving in that oh-so-natural now figure 8 beneath me; pulling back to unweight, slding across to start the next turn, pushing forward to get the tips into it, sliding back across to finish that turn….it happens without words or thought.

I’ve been studying my Rosetta Stone; today, on the chair, I heard a snowplowin’ senora say to her senor “Derecho! A Derecho!” and I understood her perfectly. (For the non-Spanish speaking non-skiers out there, she was saying ” No! Don’t turn down that sheer cliff! Keep going straight on the cat track until something forces us to turn down the hill!”).

Today was my last day of skiing at lunchtime. Tonight is my last trip down to make the 5:30 meeting at Christ the King – Ethel is driving herself, as she is meeting friends to go see Jesse Cook in concert at Fort Lewis College. So I’m driving myself down, gong to meetings by myself, going to dinner by myself. I reckon I’ll take the laptop and do some Rosetta Stone – by myself. (We bought Rosetta Stone because “we” were going to learn Spanish. Ethel has found other interests.)

I’m going through a lot of those “this is my last time…” iterations. Sure, I’ll do all of this again next year – but at  some point, the “next year”s run out, and we never know when that will be.


  1. I think there is a link between the Toto 99 and the Barbara Feldon 99. But I’m not sure.

    • Yip Yap –

      Per Toto, “99” was actually a song dedicated to George Lucas’ “THX-1138”, the idea being that he’s in love with somebody who doesn’t have a name – only a number.

    • We don’t have that one – we have Jesse Cook “The Rhumba Foundation”.

      But thanks for the heads up – now I’ve got something to get for Ethel to surprise her : )

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