Skiing with Arjun and Rob

Recently, I had a fantastic day of skiing with my nine-year old son, Arjun, and “Uncle Rob” at Copper Mountain. Rob is a longtime climbing, kayaking, and adventure partner and guide who has been with me on many trips over the years.

Rob was also with me in Nepal on the initial trip when I first met my son. Rob and I were sitting at a café table in Kathmandu while five-year-old Arjun played in the grass with other Nepali children also being adopted. One Italian couple approached our table and asked, “How is the adoption process going for you two?” Both Rob and I grinned sheepishly and I finally piped up, “Oh no! He’s just a friend. My wife’s coming on the next trip,” in my most manly voice.

We brought Arjun home just about four years ago. He learned to ride a bike with no training wheels in a few days and learned basic English in only a couple months. Now he’s becoming a really good skier.

In fact this day, Uncle Rob led him down the steepest line at Spaulding Bowl, Patrol Gulley, and even skied off the six-foot cornice. The first time, his top ski got caught and he took a slide of a couple hundred feet but the next time, although a little scared, he stuck it and skied the chute with no falls.

By contrast, I skied the big, open face to skiers right and managed to find the only rock in the entire upper bowl. I had a total “yard sale.” My skis went flying, my poles flew out of my hands, and I landed on my chest before sliding 100 feet down the mountain.

Oh well! I thought I’d have a few more years of superiority—I guess I need to accept the inevitable; my son is already a better skier than me. But at least we’re having fun being outside together!