Getting chased down a ski mountain by a group of large German men

I got into my usual variety of shenanigans on a ski trip I took with three friends while I was living in Germany:

  • Making fun of someone’s glove straps and then losing my gloves about 20 minutes later
  • Burping loudly in front of attractive girls
  • 90s songs singalongs
  • Accidentally ordering from the kids menu because I can’t read German (although the dish being named “Robin Hood” maybe should have given me a clue)
  • Sliding down a mountain head first and hurting my balls
  • Falling in a small river because I attempted a sweet jump and failed
  • Generally yelling at random people

You get the idea. It was about on par for what you’d expect going on vacation with me.

And then I did my best to reenact a James Bond skiing chase scene.

It was our final day skiing, and it was just me and my friend Jack from our group of four. The other two stayed behind at the cabin that day for unimportant logistical reasons.

The whole day prior we had all been binge drinking, and today wasn’t much different. There were a couple of bars/pubs/restaurants ON the mountain, so there was ample opportunity to get loaded.

One waiter brought out our two beers, and while I knew the rest of the tray she was holding was ours as well, she assumed it wasn’t. Different waiter than the one we had ordered from.

She looked around to see who ordered the two whiskey shots. Nobody claimed them. She looked all the way around, and back at us.

I raised my hand.

Me “Those are ours, too.”

She did the same thing with these cappuccino-looking whipped cream shots.

Me “Also ours.”

We’d ordered two beers, two shots, and two gaybacks. In the middle of our ski day. I was also drinking Red Bull and had a caffeine pill earlier.

Later, we were somewhere toward the mid-point of a medium difficulty slope. At least it was for me. Jack used to do ski competitions in high school, so I don’t understand how he wasn’t bored out of his mind on these cheesecake mountains.

I was falling a bit behind, so he stops at the top of some hill that a lot of other people are also standing around. I catch up to him, and we exchange a joke or two.

I’d been low-key flirting with (or just messing with) girls throughout the whole day. Some random girl is standing by herself, about 3-4 feet from us. I reach up with my pole and poke her in the mitten. That’s not some euphemism; I mean I literally poked her hand/mitten with my ski pole.

The look she gave me was not one of sexual interest. I realized this was as good a time as any to end our relationship and skied away.

At our next stop, Jack filled me in.

Jack “After you left, she asked me ‘What is he doing?’ and I just shrugged my shoulders and said I didn’t have any idea.”

Me “Haha yeah. ‘I don’t control him.'”

Then I saw her again!

Me “Let’s… just let her go ahead. Now it’s awkward.”

We got to the bottom, near the river I had previously fallen in. I was yelling to Jack about my ravine strategy, shouting because he was like 20 yards away near the ski lift.

Me “YEAH, IF I CAN JUST GET ENOUGH SPEED FROM THAT POINT BACK THERE WHERE THE SLOPE CHANGES, I SHOULD BE ABLE TO GET OVER THE GAP. I WON’T MAKE IT UP THE LITTLE HILL AFTERWARD, BUT AS LONG AS I CAN JUMP ACROSS, I’LL BE HAPPY. I DON’T REALLY CARE WHAT ELSE HAPPENS.”

I slid over to the end of the line, where you unhook your skis and get on the lift. I hear some people to my left, but it takes a few seconds to register that they’re talking to/about me.

Guy1 “Is that him?”

Girl “Yes.”

Guy2 “Hey!”

I look over. It’s a group of five reasonably large men, with one woman. I realize it’s the girl whose mitten I poked. (Still sounds dirty when I say that.)

Then, in the thickest German accent I’ve ever heard shout at me:

Guy2 “What are you doing by her?”

Me “What?”

Then my brain snapped into place and I realized what the fuck was actually happening right now.

I turn and catch up to Jack in about three seconds. I tell him under my breath, “Go. Just go.”

Jack “Uhh? Okay.”

Me “Keep going. Let’s get the fuck out of here. The consequences of my actions are catching up to me.”

When we got onto the ski lift (by ourselves) I explained to Jack what had just taken place, and we had a good laugh, thinking that was a pretty funny outcome to me prodding some random girl’s hand.

Me “Whatever. Running away from all my problems has worked so far in life.”

The guy’s phrase “what are you doing by her” became a catchphrase in our friend group for the rest of the trip.

We arrived at our stop, which involved skiing for about 50 yards and then either skiing down, or taking a second lift to go higher up the mountain. We opted to keep going up.

After waiting in line for a couple minutes or so, we were next to get on the lift. I notice some familiar snow jacket color patterns to our right, toward the end of the line we’d just gotten to the front of.

Me “Oh shit! They’re behind us!”

The last thing I saw before the lift started taking us up the mountain was them talking to someone else outside their group. An official maybe, but I wasn’t sticking around to find out. I was still active duty military at the time, and if I’m gonna get in trouble for causing an international incident, I at least want the story to be fucking legendary.

When we landed at the top of the slope, we got the FUCK out of there.

We ended up skiing below the very same ski lift we’d just gotten off, and Jack saw them directly above us. Instead of waiting around to see if a bunch of big European dudes were planning on kicking the shit out of me, we skied as fast as possible down the mountain and hid in a bar for a while.

I had been falling down quite a lot the whole trip, trying to readjust to skiing. I had a lot of bravery/confidence, but not quite enough skill to back it up. Jack later told the two friends who’d stayed in the cabin, “Adam did his best skiing of the whole trip when he was running away from them.”