Brooke: A Summit County skier learns to embrace socializing in stockings (column)
Special to the Daily
No one seemed to love my ski socks more than my pup, which made me wonder, “What does he see in my socks that I can’t see?”
Before I moved to the mountains, I had two pairs of ski socks that went with me on every ski trip. I sustained an exclusive, yet highly-functional relationship between my ski socks and me for nearly a decade.
A pinky toe hole didn’t faze me — I simply switched the smaller toe holed sock to my opposite foot, where the big toe didn’t stick out as much. If the heels wore out, a few hand stitches with mustard colored thick thread, had everything functioning again.
However, being force to socialize in ski socks was game changing, especially when I joined a group of ten on my first backcountry ski hut adventure.
Hiking in through the shadows and shade of the trees, I recall the threat of frost bite looming. My toes wiggled for warmth, but the hole in my big toe enlarged. “What if I lose a toe?” I worried.
When we finally reached the hut, I looked for a secluded spot from which to remove my ski boots, without embarrassment. But, it was too late. I was already cornered by a bubbly Finnish girl with pink cheeks, strutting cherry red and vivid white snowflake patterned ski socks, stretched up to her calves. “Have you been to the Socks Sale? I a-l-w-a-y-s go!” she said. She may have been friendly, but I could tell that Finnish girl had motive. Was it the scars from my tattered heels she had noticed?
As I wandered over to join the group, I watched in awe as the others, slowly, almost reverently lifted their feet from their boots around the fire. It wasn’t just the Finnish girl, but an entire cast of worldly socks emerged. As the snow melted into water, proud toes wiggled in cheery chartreuse and teasing turquoise. Durable, detailed stitching toughened the people’s stride across rugged wood floors. A rich, mulled wine aroma consumed us, while the modern, fabrics wicked away foot odor. Ski socks meant something to these people!
That day in the hut was the start of a new ski-sock era. My pup had loved me, and that’s the only reason he could have loved my ski socks. It was time to upgrade the sock-drobe, for if I truly loved my pup and the mountain life, I must love socks …
Taryn Brooke lives in Breckenridge.
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