Paoli, IN: Skiing at Paoli Peaks

The same week we went skiing in our backyard, we went skiing on real slopes at Paoli Peaks!

It was my first time ever actually skiing. My colleague/friend Khadija and her son took us down to Paoli, about an hour south of Bloomington, to enjoy the almost 70-degree day. (Her husband gets super discounted tickets to Paoli as a result of where he works, so it made the trip really doable for the two of us. Normally lift and rental prices are pretty expensive ($50-70+/person), although they do have a variety of discount dates/times; if you are going to go down to Paoli make sure to check their website for both discounts and slope conditions.)

Khadija also taught me how to ski. Eric had been before so he practiced as a refresher. I learned how to slow down, stop, and turn left and right. If she hadn't been there, I would have taken a lesson.

We started off on the bunny hill and spent a good while there so I could learn how to do everything and feel comfortable. I took it slow. I liked it a lot.

We learned how to take this people mover back up the hill. It was scary getting off (to me, not to Eric) but the person who is manning it can slow it down if you ask, and the guy running it while we were there was nice and kept explaining what to do each time I came through.

I had a very stupid camera incident at the beginning of the day where I accidentally had my GoPro taking a picture every half second. That ate the memory card in about 5 minutes and I had no other card with me ... so I wound up having to delete everything on the card. That includes all the very first photos I took of us on skis. Soo, that kinda sucks. But I figured it out for the rest of the day, and I hope I didn't lose too many memories.

After the bunny hill we went to The Cake Walk. This run is not as steep as the bunny hill, and it either leads you to a lift back to the top, or down to the easy slopes.

We tried out the lift. The lift was scary, but you can ask the operator to slow it down as you approach (put your hand out like a stop sign - you might need to yell to get their attention). Getting off the first lift we took was the first time I fell. I only wound up falling a couple of times throughout the day, which was awesome, and I didn't fall off any other lifts.

The only other time I've ever been on a lift was when Eric and I went to an Oktoberfest event at Sugar Mountain in North Carolina back in 2010. It was a scenic ride and we had no skis to worry about (just hop off). (It was so beautiful and fun and I have loads of awesome memories associated with that day.) These lifts were harder because we had skis and I didn't want to die. I am happy to report that I did not die.

After we got used to the lift and the Cake Walk, Khadija convinced us to go down one of the easy runs. It was scary and so fun. I have a pretty solid fear of falling, and I spent the entire time I was on skis not thinking about anything at all except not going over water and not running into the grass (70 degree days + sunshine are not conducive to keeping snow around). It was glorious and is probably the reason I had so much fun.

I wound up totally wiping out thanks to some ice. Eric also wiped out (twice, one right after another) and wound up hurting his thumb, so after this run he decided to go back to the lodge. But we had a good hour or hour and a half of skiing together, and that was so much fun!

I thought about ending too (I tend to only have good luck for so long), but Khadija convinced me to go again ...

And it was still fun! I fell one more time on this run, in exactly the same spot despite trying really hard not to, but managed to get up easier and not panic at all. We did the run one more time but ended differently, and this time I didn't fall at all. I even almost fell but somehow righted myself at the last second. That's on video and you can hear some random guy laughing at me at the base of the hill because I'm saying, "Oh my God, I didn't fall! It's a miracle!". Ha!

I will say, if for some reason I hadn't enjoyed my first real skiing experience, the views from the lifts would have made it totally worth it anyway. As long as I didn't think about the fact that I could fall off the seat at any moment, I really enjoyed looking around, enjoying the blue sky and snow contrast, watching skiers and snowboarders underneath us, and anticipating getting off the thing.

When Eric went back to the lodge, he took photos of us getting off the lift for the last time. It was a complete coincidence that we were even on this lift (the one nearest the lodge deck) because we almost went up a completely different one. I thought that was pretty awesome.

I had a blast on my first skiing trip. I did not get hurt, but Eric tends to get hurt skiing (something I didn't know before agreeing to go to this) so we'll see how often we do it. I wouldn't mind doing it again and more often. It was a lot of fun for me and somehow I am not terrible at skiing despite waiting 28 years to try it. (I tore my ACL in high school and have been afraid of skiing ever since.) So, if you want to go down to Paoli Peaks and like to go really slow and not take any risks...I would be a good skiing companion for you :) Let me know if you go. Paoli is open for just a short amount of time (like I said, warm weather is bad) so it's best to check their website before heading there.
Paoli, IN: Skiing at Paoli Peaks Paoli, IN: Skiing at Paoli Peaks Reviewed by Maria on 6:46:00 PM Rating: 5

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