Steve Hansen: Things we do to hit the slopes

By Steve Hansen

Former QCS Managing Editor

I just returned from a family reunion of sorts, joining my four brothers and members of their families on the ski slopes of Colorado.

Here are some observations from that trip:

• It’s amazing how people who work very hard to make good incomes will spend huge amounts of money on a vacation that makes them work just as hard physically.

Skiers must gird themselves for cold weather, endure the waiting and chills of ski-lift rides and strain to keep things together as they hurtle down a mountain.

Don’t ask me why, but it’s worth it.

• Listening to nearly a dozen men and women recapping their ski days is as boring to outsiders as hearing golfers recounting their exploits on the links. Skiers work harder for the privilege, though.

• If you find yourself surrounded on the slopes by hordes of young adults who speak in complete sentences, it’s a college weekend. Last week, the last one of mid-year breaks for many, was a preview of spring break before the snow melts. We were trying to avoid big crowds, but there they were.

• Technology allows ski-lift tickets to be read instantly via a scanner. It means the ski resort also knows your name, how old you are and how many lift rides you’ve taken over any given period of time.

My brothers and I, all in our 50s and 60s, were getting some looks of respect from the scanner operators.

• High altitudes magnify and hasten the effects of alcohol. Don’t ask me how I know that.

• If you hate crowds, improve your skiing. The steeper the slope you can ski, the shorter the line on the ski-lift.

• A bad ski day in the Colorado Rockies is better than most good ski days in New England. We had bad days in the northern Rockies, which meant hard-packed snow, New England’s usual best, instead of  Colorado powder.

We should have met in Taos Valley this year.

• New-fangled “shape” skis with a slight hourglass curve to them are a quantum leap ahead of the straight skis of yore. I was able quickly to overcome many years of not skiing due to this revolution. Sometimes the “good old days” are worth leaving behind, except for the stories we share as a clan of skiers since childhood.

Steve Hansen writes about our life and times from his perspective of a retired Tucumcari journalist. Contact him at:

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