Ventuss xLog

走马敕勒川 | TG: @Ventuss_OvO

What are we talking about when we are skiing?

New Year's Day went to Koktokhai, skied 200km within the province, also tried small forests and wild snowy mountains outside the province, and broke through 500km of skiing this season; with the end of the journey and the closure of Chongli Guo, the 2122 ski season is probably over.

This is the second ski season of formal skiing, and I have gained a lot of happy, painful, unforgettable experiences and lovely ski friends. I would like to record and commemorate the achievements and insights of me and my friends in skiing with this article.

Pain and joy

In the winter of 2019, I went to several suburban ski resorts a few times, but it was just for fun. In the winter of 2020, I bought my own snowshoes and practiced with the help of Huang Jialan's videos on YouTube, which can be considered as officially starting to learn this sport.

Although it is now promoted as "300 million people on ice and snow", there are many "snow beauties" on Xiaohongshu who wear bikinis in ski resorts, but skiing is first and foremost a dangerous sport.


On December 12, 2020, I went to Taiwu Ski Resort for the first time. I fell and lost my memory on the Salsa slope, and my helmet cracked. When I woke up, I found myself lying on the ski slope and couldn't remember why I was here; before waking up, I had many dreams, fragments of memories from the past few months: galloping in the ginkgo forest under the warm sunshine; the wind on the beach in Quanzhou; the fragrance of osmanthus flowers on the roadside in Shanghai for the last time; the small boat in Beihai Park... I had to check the calendar on my phone to know who I was and where I was. I rested in a small cabin at the foot of the mountain for more than half an hour before finally recovering my memory, but I still don't know how I fell.

Later, I found that four other friends in a skiing group were also injured on that day. Considering that this group has less than two hundred people, this proportion is frightening! So we agreed to avoid skiing on December 12th. I set up a recurring reminder on my calendar every year to remind myself to stay away from ski resorts on that day (I even seriously studied the lunar phase and astrology of that day, but found nothing). However, on December 12, 2021, I couldn't resist and went skiing in Yunding for half a day and returned to Beijing safely. It can be considered breaking a curse.

The Burst Tire Adventure

This ski season was affected by the epidemic and the Winter Olympics, and Chongli's access policy changed every day. On a weekend in November, @SAAB and I decided to go to Yunding. Some ski friends successfully entered the resort the night before, while others were turned away. Early Saturday morning, we decided to give it a try and set off before dawn. On the way, a ski friend ahead sent a report saying that they had passed successfully. At 9:50, we arrived at the Taizicheng toll station, tragedy! The inspection personnel told us that they received a call from their superiors at 9:35, and all people from Beijing were advised to turn back. We missed it by only 15 minutes, damn it.

But we were not willing to give up, so we found a small road to bypass. The road became narrower and narrower. First, we passed through a village where it seemed that no outsiders had ever been. An old lady sat by the road eating melon seeds and looked at us as if we were fools. We continued driving and came to the foot of a mountain covered with snow without any tire tracks. We were not panicked because we had Quattro (Audi's four-wheel drive technology)! The snow was very deep and the road was narrow, with a cliff on one side, but we had Quattro! @SAAB skillfully maneuvered on the snowy slope like a gecko, and then tragedy struck again! Quattro got stuck in a ditch.

We shoveled snow, used branches and a broken sponge strip left by someone to pave the way, and finally rescued Quattro. We rushed to a gentle slope, and now there was only a short distance from the top of the mountain. But another tragedy happened! The left rear tire burst, probably worn out when struggling in the ditch. Don't panic, we still have a spare tire. So we struggled to change the spare tire, but another tragedy happened again! The spare tire of the Q5 is a compressed tire, but there is no air pump in the car. We had to change back to the damaged tire and return the same way. The old lady was still sitting by the road eating melon seeds, looking at us as if we were fools.

In retrospect, we made the best decisions based on the information available at the time, but the system was too cunning and our luck was too bad. Fortunately, we were optimistic and enjoyed a nice hot bath in Zhangjiakou.

Knowing Oneself and the World

Amnesia, numerous injuries, burst tires, high time and money costs... I have pressed myself against the wall several times and asked myself: why can't I let go? Why do I seek suffering? Why do I ski? Why the hell?

In my year-end summary of 2019, I wrote that skiing is a sport that allows me to be with myself: when you ski, "you must be in harmony with your body and mind, otherwise you will fall."

At that time, I was a beginner (and I still am), and two years later, I still agree with my previous view. But with the advancement of skills and a deeper understanding of this sport, I have gained new insights.

Skiing is a process of getting to know oneself. I know for the first time how many degrees my hip joint can rotate before it locks, and I know that my flexibility is so poor that I can't kneel down; I also continue to learn about myself, knowing my physical limits, knowing the energy replenishment and rest time required when approaching the physical limit, knowing which slopes I can ski and which slopes I can only push, in order to continuously break through this limit.

Skiing is a process of deliberate practice. At the beginning, you need to overcome the fear of speed and falling, and master the control of the snowboard; then you need to overcome the fear of slope, the towering mountains at the foot of the mountain are not as terrifying as they seem when you look up; then you need to deliberately forget the subconscious movements, correct the wrong movements, even if they are familiar to you, you need to deliberately do those unfamiliar but correct things in order to further break through.

Skiing is a process of getting to know the external world. You will know which snowshoes, bindings, and protective gear are suitable for you, and how to adjust them to the most comfortable state; you will understand your snowboard, know its sidecut radius, know how far you can go back to release energy without hurting yourself. You will be familiar with the ski slopes, know which spots have the best snow conditions and the fewest people, know where there are bumps and where you can have fun, and know when the snow is almost ruined and it's time to call it a day. You will also understand your friends, know when to provoke them to organize a group (in heavy fog).

So, you understand your own abilities, with familiar equipment, together with your friends, conquer one ski slope after another, one mountain after another. Ah, it's really great.

The whole process is not easy, it requires a high investment of energy and money, and it requires constantly breaking your instincts and path dependence and establishing new correct muscle memories. But the famous Nobel Prize runner-up Haruki Murakami also said when running a marathon: "People exist because of pain."

Breaking through Limitations and Pursuing Freedom

Once, on the cable car, I talked with @LionBrother about the process and feelings of skiing:

At the beginning, we need to overcome fear and learn the movements, establish correct muscle memories and snow feel. At this time, the limitation is the technique itself; after mastering the correct method, physical fitness and core strength become bottlenecks. Good physical fitness is needed to support at least 30 kilometers of skiing and accumulate skiing mileage every day. When bending under pressure, if the core is not tightened, it cannot withstand the centrifugal force brought by speed. When all of this is not a problem, ski resorts in the suburbs of Beijing and even Chongli may no longer satisfy you. Ski resorts in Northeast China, Xinjiang, Japan, Switzerland, Austria, and Canada are beckoning. In addition to the ski slopes in the ski resorts, there are also forests, powder snow on the mountains, ski mountaineering, and even helicopter skiing. There is always one that suits you. At this time, the bottleneck is time and money. And when you can freely shuttle through major ski resorts around the world during the ski season, I believe you are no longer young. At this time, the limitation is the fight against time, aging, and injuries.

You see, the more you progress, the more basic and fundamental abilities you require, but the basic and fundamental abilities are even more difficult. Skiing is easy when you are young, but when you ski at the age of forty, you need a strong body, a harmonious family, family support, a stable career, financial freedom, and a young mindset...

In this way, "See you at the mountaintop" is such a beautiful blessing, containing so many beautiful expectations.

We constantly break through limitations, gain greater freedom, and go to bigger worlds, challenging higher peaks.

See you at the mountaintop, my friends!

The first draft was written on the flight from Urumqi to Beijing, but I kept delaying it and didn't publish it; this weekend, I couldn't resist and went to Qishan Ski Resort again, and then tragedy struck, my ankle was injured; it turns out that I shouldn't have said "the 2122 ski season is probably over", this time it's really over.

So now I'm sitting by the window on the second floor of the ski resort lobby, watching the heavy snowfall outside, my friends are having a great time skiing on the powder snow, but I feel nothing in my heart, just a bit of swelling in my ankle.


January 23, 2022 @Beijing

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