1977- Skiing in Dizin, Iran

3 min
Image of Spring 2019
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Everything sparkled. The sun, the snow, the air, white and clean and perfect. Beautiful.

Five minutes after we made the turn from the main highway, the road leading further north to curl around the mountain, the snow piled on the sides of the road became cleaner. 10 minutes later, it grew to 10 feet in some places, pristine - exquisite.

A deep breath - the scent, non-scent of powdered snow.

We arrived at the slopes and clambered out of the car - my brother, sister and I already wearing our ski boots and waiting impatiently for the skis to be handed down from the roof rack. My sister, Nilou’s were the shortest - bright orange. She was only six but she barreled down the slopes - fearlessly. Sia, my brother was 11 and I was 12. We took the poles out of the back of the Range Rover together with our puffy ski jackets and gloves.

We ran - a slow struggling run through the heavy snow towards the gondolas.

“Bye Mommy - see you at the restaurant for lunch. Nilou is coming with us this morning." I was carrying her skis along with mine. She couldn't manage the snow and the skis. Sia carried her poles. We got out of the gondola at the midpoint of the main slopes. We were going to ski with Nilou for a couple of hours before we passed her on to Mom at lunch and went off on our own for some real skiing.

It was an amazing day. There was light fresh powder and the weather was warm enough to be pleasant but not enough to melt any of the snow. The underlayer was packed snow - no ice - and it was a pleasure to cut into it with our skis in serpentine curves. Nilou wasn't quite up to parallel skiing but her V shapes were narrowing and her technique improving all the time. We laughed and sprayed snow at each other - doing quick stops and tricks. After lunch, Sia and I disappeared and met up with Mom and Nilou around three. It was getting colder.

Mommy said: "I'm getting too cold and it's been a long day. I'm heading down with the gondola. You want me to take Nilou with me?" Nilou looked up with those enormous brown eyes, pleading. “Please.... I want to ski some more. Please."

Sia and I agreed to keep her with us and ski the last slope down together after a couple of more runs. Sia and I usually came down after the very last gondola. Often, with the ski pros checking the slopes before closing. Today, we decided to head down a little earlier since Nilou was flagging. We were going to be there for 10 days. We could miss a couple of runs.

Three minutes into the run - the sun disappeared. It wasn't a problem, snow squalls happened. It would pass soon - no storms were forecast. The visibility got worse and we stopped to rest, and wait for it to clear a bit.

It didn't. The snow was getting heavier but worse - much worse - was the fog that was creeping in, getting thicker. Visibility dropped drastically and we couldn't see beyond 5 feet in front of us. A world of gray on white. I was hugging Nilou against me. We waited some more but it wasn't getting any better. We couldn't stay. We knew the slopes. We knew where most of the bumps were. But, there was a ravine on the right side of the slope - we had to keep away from that - but it was a wide slope. We should be okay. Sia was a smidge better skier than I, so he went first. With his skis in a V like a child so he would have more control. We were not going to hurry this.

He held one of his polls behind him so Nilou could grab onto it. We wouldn't be able to see him beyond a couple of feet. I went last, sandwiching Nilou between the two of us, my skis on the outside of hers - directing her.

"Will we be okay?" She asked." Absolutely." I said. “Just hold onto the pole. It's going to take us a while but it's all three of us - We’ll be great."

She grinned up with me, all ready for her big adventure.

We went down that slope at a crawl. We had to stop to rest. We were fighting against the slope. Not the effortless curving of sharp skis and momentum but pushing against every bump, climbing down the mountain. It was endless.

Suddenly, the fog opened up like a curtain rising - we could see - enough to be able to move despite the snow. We kept bunched together - turning in a unit - scared of the fog coming back and losing each other. It'd taken us an hour and change to go down the stretch that would usually take us 10 minutes, if that.

My mom was waiting at the gondolas. She had been screaming and begging for someone to go after us. When she finally saw us coming down the slope, she simply collapsed on the snow. We were fine.

Sia and I were up on the first gondola the next day. My mom and Nilou an hour later. It was another beautiful day.

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User deactivated · ago
A very realistic story! You did a good job with your description.
think you’ll like my story, “Do You See Me?”. The link to it is here: https://short-edition.com/en/story/3-min/do-you-see-me

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Nahal · ago
Loved your story. What a unique way of looking at loss. Best of luck with the competition.
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GITA · ago
Wonderful description of a ski trip and the effects of snow blindness. I used to ski in Quebec so I know you were accurate. You get my vote.
And if you have a moment I hope you will read mine: https://short-edition.com/en/story/1-min/the-curve?

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Nahal · ago
Thank you so much for your kind words. It’s a bit difficult to get a visa these days but you can visit. It is a beautiful country with a long history. Hope you get there someday when relations are a little less fraught.
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melogan · ago
Very beautiful story. Always wanted to go to Iran. Right at the top of my list. Cn you still go there? Hope you can!