T-Bars

Story_squareIn the stone age of mountain skiing was the T-bar and there it should stay.

A T-Bar Lift consisted of a steel rope looped over a series of wheels. A bar hung down from this steel cable with a horizontal cross piece at the bottom. Think of the idea of an upside-down T.

The cable ran up the mountain and skiers were expected to rest against the horizontal piece which would push them up the mountain.

Two skiers could go up the same  T-Bar and that’s where my problem began.

My college roommate and I were out for a day of skiing at a small ski area that featured several T-Bar lifts. No problem. We weren’t beginners anymore.

We glided up the mountain together several times before things went a bit haywire.

As we were sliding over the snow, my roommate developed problems. Her skis caught and she weaved from left to right to left, bucking the T-Bar with her wild maneuvering. I clung to my balance until she lost hers.

It was over then. The T-Bar heaved skyward, pitching me into the air.

I landed on my back with the end of my ski hooked over the horizontal bar. Up the hill I went, dragged by the now-calm T-Bar.

I jerked my leg like a fish trying to shed a hook and, after a couple of eons, kicked myself free from the lift and roll into the deep powder alongside the lift track.T-bar

I could no longer see my skis under the powder. I rolled and kicked until I worked my way onto the ski run itself.   Hard-packed snow never looked so good.

Sweat ran down my shoulder blades as I stood for a few minutes to let my heart rate drop under 200.

And then my roommate slushed up beside me. After falling off the T-Bar, she’d skied to the bottom, caught another ride, and beat me to the top.

She ran her eyes from my snow-caked boots to my powdered cap and shook her head.

“What on earth happened to you?”

T-Bars… you can keep them.

 

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