Got some sleep, got up this morning, and got into my ski clothing. Went down and picked up my skis and boots, and hit the slopes. I was worried at first that I wouldn't remember how to ski, though several people assured me that it's like riding a bike; you never really forget. Everyone said the first run would suck -- and it did -- but that then it all comes back. I did the easy slopes a few times, and then I got ambitious and decided to do the whole mountain, summit back down to lodge. This, I should note, is a multi-hour endeavor; Blackcomb is not a small mountain. Given that I was out of practice, I avoided black diamonds, and I wimped out stopping at the top of Solar Coaster.
For those who know Whistler/Blackcomb, I took Cruiser down to where it crossed Green Line. I decided rather than taking Cruiser straight down to Lower Cruiser, I'd take Green Line over to Mainline, which looked (oddly enough) less crowded. Mainline down to Green Line again, then I rather stupidly went off-trail, rejoined Green Line on the other side of a chunk of trees, and then Green Line down to Merlin's, and Merlin's right back to the entrance of the Chateau where I'm staying.
I did make it down without downloading (riding a chairlift back to the lodge), but I now hurt in places I hadn't remembered that I had. I also realized a few things.
1) 'Early season conditions' means 'you can fall through the snow if you mistake a snowdrift for the trail' and 'watch out for rocks if you leave the trail.' I did not have problems with the other, but I fell through the snow surface in one place, joining about three people buried up to our thighs. I always skied later in the season.
2) My god, the powder was perfect.
3) I remember now how quickly glasses fog up. I ended up skiing without them, as I could see well enough to make my way.
4) Skiing /down/ into the cloud layer and out the other side is a surreal and amazing experience.
5) -19 degrees Celsius (at summit) with 65kph winds is /cold/.
6) In the grand tradition of always forgetting to bring one thing, I forgot to bring Chapstick. Doh.
7) Whistler rocks.
So, I'm back in my room to relax for a bit. I may take a nice hot bath. I think I'll order some cocoa or something. Mmm. Cocoa.