Slope 45

I’m eager to take slope 45, down from the very top to the nice 8-seats chairlift. We missed it last time, but now we turn right at the proper spot. The wind is very strong, it’s a struggle to get to the edge of the slope. We’re hesitating. B. asks – “which direction is the hut?”
“That way”, I point backwards and turn. Slope 45 will have to wait for a better chance, there’s no point in struggling with these conditions.
B. is heading on, but M. is pointing towards the little shack – “should we do something about her?”

I can hear the little girl’s sobbing through the howling wind. She’s all alone, probably lost from her parents. I’m sure they’ll get back up for her, she’ll be fine, but… aah, this is one of those situations when, if you do nothing, it will keep nagging at you – “why didn’t you at least ask?”

So I’m nodding to M. and moving towards the girl. It turns out her mum had just gone down, she wanted to follow but she’s afraid.

“Do you want to go down with me?” I ask her.
Without an answer she bravely steps out of the shelter, into the wind. I’m pointing to M. that I’m going down with the kid, M. is hailing B., who’d stopped further down, they’re both coming towards us. We’re trying to approach the slope, but the wind picks up speed and sound, almost pushing us back. Maybe it’s not such a good idea. I’m turning around asking if we should rather wait here with her till her mum comes. Without a word the girls are heading swiftly towards the shelter. I’m shouting out to M. – “I’m going down, to tell her mum she’s still up here, in case she’s waiting for her down there.”

It’s an overkill, I know, but this way I got a good enough reason to go down without having to put my friends through it. Conditions are unfriendly – strong wind, because of the overcast I’m not seeing much structure on the slope, so I’m going down very slowly. Eventually it gets better, I’m accelerating, then it gets harder, slowing down, then better again, accelerating, (I don’t want to keep them waiting for me for too long), and then…

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