Still, last weekend, the forecast suddenly called for rain on Friday, our usual ski day. It changed by Monday, saying snow - 4 to 8 inches. Seeing as how Thursday's snow was some 28 inches, that seemed reasonable to us.
Davan's friend, Lena, has been wanting to go up with us when the snow was good, so we invited her along. Actually, first we offered to take her up on Sunday because she's an exchange student and goes to school. However, I asked her if she felt she could take a Friday off because it's so much less crowded and that's when we usually go. She said that wasn't a problem at all.
Lena, at 16, has finished mandatory school for Switzerland. She's planning on doing higher education when she gets back, but hasn't started yet. So, this year doesn't really count for her. She's doing a lot of classes that are kind of fluff. Thus, a day or two off here and there doesn't matter too much to her and she's wanting to experience many things while she's here.
As even more of an aside from skiing, I have to say that Davan is going to miss Lena like crazy next year. Sure, Davan may be winging off herself, which would ease that pain, but she does so much with Lena every week and they've really gotten to be best friends. They do all their Do Jump classes together, which is unusual. Davan has several good friends at Do Jump, but they're only in Zig Zags with her. Lena is also doing the same two adult classes after Zig Zags that Davan does, which gives them lots of time without other friends as distraction, as they're the only non-adults in those classes. The two of them also do a two hour gymnastics class together on Wednesdays in which their the only two students currently. When we told Davan she should invite a friend over to keep her company when we went to Anthony's office party, she invited Lena. I'm telling you, it'll be a big, ragged hole in her life when Lena leaves if she ends up staying home.
Any-who, back to the skiing. Lena joined us and it was delightful to have her along. We did get off to a delayed start when we were about 20 minutes down the road and Lena realized she only had one of her two gloves. We went back for it. One gloved snowboarding (which is what Lena likes to do) is not a fun thing. So, after a false start, we really got going.
We stopped to rent equipment for Lena, who would have liked to rent a helmet, too. Not everyone wears helmets, but we all so and Lena is used to it, as well. The place we stopped didn't rent them, but they did sell them and Davan has been needing a new one, as the one she's been skiing in we got her when she was 7 and it doesn't fit very well anymore. We bought Davan one and then told the girls to figure out which one fit whom the best and just make it work for today. It turns out that Davan's old one fit Lena fine, so they were all set. Lena also bought herself a pair of goggles that were on sale for $15, as she didn't have a pair and we had no extra.
So, we finally are going up the mountain. It's raining. We started placing bets on when the rain would turn to snow. We passed all the bet points and it was still raining. We got nervous. We pulled into the slushy parking lot to the fall of a wintery mix, feeling like this might not be the best day of skiing ever. Still, we'd already rented for Lena (actually, she rented for herself - she seems to have a decent spending budget for her stay) and we'd driven up there, so...we dressed and headed to the lodge for Lena to get her ticket.
And the conditions were...less than ideal. It was a little like skiing through concrete. A very wet snow was falling. There was a lot of fog, making visibility very poor. At times during the day, visibility was so poor between the fog and the snow on our goggles that we could see trees and people, but otherwise, everything just kind of looked white. That made skiing pretty darn challenging. It was a skill building day. If Lena weren't with us, having invested in rental gear and a ticket, we'd have gone home early.
If we had gone home early, though, we'd have missed the afternoon skiing when the precipitation turned to true snow and we were suddenly skiing on powder. Viability was still crap, but the snow was fun.
Davan, who would usually be saying, "I'm ready to go whenever you guys are," after about an hour of a skill building day, was happily still skiing until 3:30, when we all called it a day. She giggled and laughed her way though the day along with Lena. There really is something to taking a friend.
We gave Lena Davan's old helmet to use for the duration of her stay and told her to join us any time she feels like playing hooky on a Friday.