Getting back on skis was the 'hip' thing to do!

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What's around that bend? Only the shadow knows. (Rochester Voice photos)

Two days of daredevil schussing down the black diamonds at Loon and what proof do I have?

Just this lone photo taken at the top of the mountain where you can spot an amorphous shape of shadow that is I.

Yeah you can see by my silhouette I resemble a lithe Robert Redford in Downhill Racer.

Well, not exactly. Two years after hip replacement I was just happy to meander down some novice cruisers, stopping every few minutes to take a breather and a picture of the spectacular views from atop the mountain.

UNSTOPPABLE - Wearing my former Patriots DB Aquib Talib exultant "game face" after conquering the mountain over a two-day reign.

I stayed mostly on the eastern side of the mountain, taking the gondola to the top and the quad beside the main lodge to about halfway up.

Being on skis since I was 12 it was tough to have to give it up for a few years, but getting back in the saddle earlier this week was fantastic.

Knowing how the crowds build during the late morning I had my skis on ready to go before the first gondola left the station at 9 a.m.

Because of COVID, they only allow one person to a four-rider gondola, so I really had space to stretch out, adjust my mask, my gator, enjoy the scenery and take a pik or two.

Speaking of masks, I noticed early on that if my mask was over my nose, my glasses fogged up in a heartbeat, which was very problematic in lift lines. It was a hard choice: Keep it over my nose, and walk into the guy in front of me, or let it slip just a smidge beneath my nose and get on the lift uneventfully.

More than once a lift attendant would very politely get my attention and make a hand gesture to indicate I should pull up my mask.

I would comply, the glasses would fog up, I run into more people, I let if fall and so on and so on till got on the lift.

If COVID hangs around someone on Shark Tank is going to come up with a solution by next winter I hope.

Even though it was wonderful to be back on the slopes it was sad that the social component of skiing was lacking in the lift lines and on the lift, itself.

It used to be that the banter in a lift line proved as entertaining as apres ski.

You used to even occasionally get a date on a chairlift or gondola.

Now you ride alone.

After the first full day of skiing with no falls I took an easy wide slope to the base lodge for my final run ... and got plastered by a beginner 20-something snowboarder. He took me right down, and we had a 15- or 20-foot slide to the bottom of the hill a stone's throw from the lodge.

I was fine, but you know how it is when you take a fall at a certain age. You kind of check yourself.

"Are you OK," the youngster said. "I'm real sorry, I'm a beginner and couldn't stop."

"Is he OK," echoed someone from the ski patrol.

I said, "I think I am," but still laid there for another moment.

Of course, I'd landed square on my hip that had been replaced.

Anyhow, we'll take a couple of days off, but can't wait to go again.

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