Tuesday, February 4, 2014

That time I fell off a ski lift in Switzerland.

Welcome back to Travel Tuesday! Today I'm sharing a pretty hilarious story about that time I fell off a ski lift in Switzerland, like I promised to do back on Christmas Eve. Whoops! But I'm here now! And I hope you enjoy. :)

Note the helmet! This is key.
Looks like a perfectly pleasurable day on the slopes, right? Wrong! This photo was taken before my brother and I managed to fall off a ski lift, hike all the way up to the top of the mountain, and fall off another lift before we could get back to the car. Sheesh! Here's how it went down....

You know those weird button lifts some ski slopes use to take people up and down the bunny hill? It's basically a round disk on a pogo stick attached to a fairly flexible cable that drags you up the hill. This contraption might be fine for a bunny hill, but in Switzerland (and other countries such as France, I've heard), they think these "button lifts" are also perfectly acceptable to take skiers and snowboarders all the way from the very button of the hill up to the top of the slopes. Let me tell you something: This is not a good idea. Observe:

This is only one of the many, many videos that comes up on YouTube when I searched "button lift fail." And the funny part is that I didn't actually have any trouble getting on the lift. Although my mom and sister had to try a few times to secure a button, I got on with no problem right behind my brother. Then, about halfway up the mountain, I went over a little bump and somehow spun all the way around the pole and ended up on the ground. Observe:

I actually was scared this was me when I first saw this video, but the coat colors don't match for it to be my family. *sigh of relief* Anyway, I started yelling at my brother to get his attention, and I will never forget the look on his face when he first looked over his shoulder with an "oh-my-gosh-stop-being-so-obnoxious" look and then quickly did a double-take when he saw me dragging along the ground. I was planning to let the lift drag me all the way up to the top, but then I saw a flash of orange by the side of the slope. My brother just couldn't stop turning around to look at me, and he ended up falling completely off. Silly boy. At that point, I decided to just let go and crawl over to the side with him and figure out where to go from there.

We decided not to ski down and get on the lift again, as we saw several other people do (yes, multiple people had trouble with this lift—not just us!), because we didn't want to risk getting back on the lift just to fall again. A long row of empty disks came by, so we tried to get back on, but those things are like slingshots when they're already moving! Sometimes I would just manage to slide the disk behind my hamstrings, but the pogo stick would already be so stretched out that it would—ping!—release and fly me forward. After one particularly terrifying failed attempt where the button lift literally shot me 15 feet forward (I'm not joking; I asked my brother later if it flung me as far as it felt, and he actually pointed out a distance that was farther than what I had imagined), I put the kabosh on that plan. Luckily, I was wearing a helmet, because I landed on my back and my head snapped back down against the hard snow. If it hadn't been for the helmet, I'm afraid my head would have shattered like a watermelon hit with a sledgehammer, and my brother wasn't wearing a helmet.

After hiking the rest of the way up the mountain with our skis and poles in our armpits, we were able to ski over to a smaller lift (the slightly-but-not-much-better T-bar), where we only fell once before getting on separate T-bars and making our way back to the car, where Mom and Abby were waiting patiently. That night, my mom ran me a hot bath and mixed me a stiff drink, and the next morning I woke up and thought: "Why do my arms feel like they got ripped from my sockets? Why do I feel like my head got smacked by a multi-ton mountain of snow?" Oh wait, because they/it did. :/

Do you have any funny travel stories to share? Link up below! Remember all travel posts are welcome, even if they don't follow the "weekly prompt," and feel free to grab the button, too!

Next week's prompt: Romantic destinations! This could be a post about your past or future (real or imagined) honeymoon, a fun Valentine's Day trip, or even an unexpectedly romantic destination.

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