For a split second, I thought catastrophe had caught up to us. Dade was doing a 360 off a bridge that exits from the Westside Glades at Echo Mountain. When he first said he was going to do it, I knew catching the handrail with his ski tips was a potential problem, but I didn’t say anything. I didn’t want the ramifications of all that to creep into his psyche. (No need to call social services; when he proposes truly boneheaded ideas, I’m the first to say, “Seriously?” with my best bewildered dad-face.)
Sure enough, as he went up and started to rotate, I heard his ski hit the wood. I braced for the carnage, and had a flashback to catching my own tips during the wild and crazy days of big time daffys and backscratchers. (Close your eyes and picture a young, careless JB — not quite as wise and handsome as the guy you know now — flying through the air, left leg kicked back with that ski perpendicular to the ground. A quality daffy circa 1987. And then, just to impress you, he holds the aerial pose half a second too long, and that left ski tip digs into the snow … Show’s over, folks, and it ain’t a pretty ending.)
I was ready for something like that, perhaps a sideways-whiplash version.
But he pulled it out. Roan has GoPro footage, and something tells me he wasn’t as happy and relieved with the outcome as I was.
“Did you hear that,” Dade yelled as soon as he landed. “I hit the bridge on the way up. Oh, man! I thought I was in big trouble.”
“Yeah,” Roan replied. “I thought I was going to get an epic fail for the movie! Too bad!
In a stunning display of good sense, Dade chose not to try another trick off the bridge, and instead we spent the rest of February 21, 2016, cruising down RFK, skier’s right of the area’s lone chairlift.
And when I say cruising, that’s exactly what I mean. Echo is often used by race clubs and other snow-friendly foundations for teaching and training, and the heart of the mountain is essentially set up as two lanes, one on each side of the triple chair. As long as there aren’t any bystanders in the way, you can get some pretty good speed going from top to bottom.
We made a few laps, doing exactly that, and then called it day … before Dade had a chance to reconsider the bridge, and before Roan could coax a film-worthy catastrophe out of his brother. And most importantly, before I had to say, “Seriously?”