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"Let's go skiing!" My dad said. He swung his skis downhill and pushed off from the fence in one swift movement. 

"Wait up!" I scurried to get going. 

There was a difference in my skiing now and I could feel it. I had more confidence. My feet were warm. I was determined. 

"I'm catching you dad." My ski tips slid alongside his.

"Race you to the chairlift." He said. We both turned hard, and aimed towards a cat-track running 100 meters below us, along the bottom of the run. 

"Go!" I screamed and tucked myself into a tiny ball of speed.

My dad fell out of from my vision and I bounced along the last steep section of the hill and let my skis run out onto the cat-track. The world around me began to close in as my speed reached terminal velocity. The tree's around me became a green blur and the noise from the wind whipping past me reached a peak level of volume before going silent. 

The air was so cold it made my right eye drop two tears inside my goggles, but I keep myself tucked into a little ball of speed. I enjoyed letting the feeling of "speed" be all I could feel.  From my blindspot appeared two ski tips I knew to be my dads and I made a small check turn towards him and looked back. My unexpected turn had forced him to stand up to catch his balance and he lost the speed he had gained getting next to me.

I looked back ahead and the entrance to the lift chair was coming toward me fast. I stood to turn my hips hard to the left, placing all my weight on my outside ski, then twisted my hips to the right sliding my weight onto the opposite ski and pressed down hard. 

My ski chattered and bounced their inner edges ripping at the icy worn snow in the "stopping area" before the chair. Ch-ch-chunk was the sound they made and I turned once more bringing my speed to a manageable stop. 

"I won." I panted.

"You cheated." My dad joked.

"I was racing." I said.

"Good skiing, really good skiing."

"Thanks dad." I asked.

"Keep it up."

"Are we going up this chair?

"This is the one."

"Why is it so small?"

"It's one of the first chairs the mountain had."


"It's called the Orange Chair." My dad said, and pushed past me into the empty lift line. "Everybody is probably at lunch."

"Ya snooze ya loose." I repeated a saying I had overheard my dad say once. The full meaning didn't quite make sense to me, but I thought in this circumstance maybe everybody was taking a nap after they ate lunch.

I skated along the roped off section of the lift line and followed my dad until we were standing next to each other at the end, on top of a plastic section of polyurethane used to mark the standing point before entering the lift to sit down as it came around.

We were the only two in line and the liftie, another Australian asked us. "How are ya going?"

"Going fast." I replied.

"That's right." My dad said proudly. 

"Next one, hold on." The liftie held out his hand. 

"Incoming!" Yelled a voice behind us. 

We turned and saw two skiers flying through the air. They had launched themselves from the top of a cliff on the far side of the cat-track, where a small jetty of snow was sliding down the rock face. They must have been 30 feet in the air and in a giant powdery poof they landed inside the no-ski boundary surrounding the chair lift. Without stopping they slid into the lift line ahead of us in unison and sat down on a chair that was inches from lifting off the snow. 

"Hey, you can't do that!" the liftie yelled.

"You're mom can't do that." One of the boys on the chair screeched at the liftie.

"Punks." My dad said.

"Hold on another minute," the liftie walked into the lift hut and grabbed his walkie talkie, "I gotta call this in." 

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