Wonder Boi Writes

Trails Merge Olympic Inspired Excerpt

I mentioned last week that I love the winter olympics and the past seven days have only reaffirmed that, but one thing I hadn’t remembered was how the Torino olympics played  huge part in a particular scene in Trails Merge.  It wasn’t until I saw Bode Miller, Julie Mancuso, Lindsay Vonn and the others taking flight off the jumps of the downhill course at Whistler that I remembered the spark I’d first felt watching downhill skiing at the 2006 games.  I was so in awe of the skiers who shot like rockets off icy slopes.  They were so fast, so graceful, so fast, so  super sexy!   I wanted to do that.  Alas I’m not that good a skier, but Campbell Carsen is.  So instead of me throwing down my own Olympic style run, I wrote one.  It turned out to be on of the most fun sections I’d ever written, and I was rewarded by hearing from several readers who said they loved it too. 

So in honor of the olympics and my renewed excitement about downhill skiing, I decided to share that Olympic inspired scene with you today.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.  Your weekend play is two my favorite O Canada moment, call is an homage to our gracious hosts.

From Trails Merge:

“Good morning, Camy,” Alexis said as she approached. “Does anyone ever call you Camy?”

“Not since I was three years old,” Campbell answered truthfully.

“And why is that?”

“Do I look like a Camy to you?” The answer was implied in the question.

“No, I don’t suppose you do.” Alexis chuckled, then headed for the lift they’d taken the day before. “Let’s get this workout started, shall we?”

Campbell sat beside Alexis and outlined their lesson on the way up the mountain. “You got off the hook yesterday because of Mia’s little stunt, but don’t think I didn’t notice you were being modest about your ski level.”

“Don’t be silly. ‘Modest’ isn’t a term I’m familiar with,” Alexis said. “I simply had no interest in dragging Parker onto a black diamond slope. I chose to work on her level.”

Alexis could pretend to be a hard-ass if she wanted, but it was clear she had a good heart behind her sharp wit. “Parker isn’t here today. Why don’t we take it up a notch and see if you can keep up with me.”

“Trash talk is gauche, darling. If you want to challenge me, do it with your skis, and find something more useful to do with that pretty mouth.”

Campbell laughed. Alexis was confident, but this was her mountain. No one could test her skills here. If nothing else, a good workout would help clear her head. 

As they neared the end of the lift Alexis simply stated, “I’ll be right behind you.”

Campbell glanced back only once to see Alexis on her heels before she grinned and tilted her skis over the edge of the drop-off. It was the mountain’s most challenging trail, narrow and steep, with its slightly uneven terrain left ungroomed where it wound through several patches of firs and evergreens. The old ski bums called it a cartilage killer because of the way it could rattle skiers’ knees.

When Alexis sliced in behind her, she took several quick, sharp cuts, and her skis threw up a rooster tail of fresh powder. She thought that might be enough to impress Alexis, but she heard her call, “On your right,” and fly past her. Alexis was in a full tuck to lower her wind resistance, which allowed her to go faster, but Campbell knew she’d have to ease up to take the turn they were bearing down on. She adjusted her line accordingly. When Alexis stood up, easing off slightly, Campbell was able to slingshot around her, laughing as she went.

There was another big dip before the trail flooded wide open into the main basin, and Campbell was certain Alexis would take it in a full crunch in the hopes of catching her, but Campbell didn’t sacrifice speed for style. She took a slant only a native of the mountain would know. Instead of lining up on the inside track, she went wide toward the inclined bank of the final turn and used the height she got, along with her own momentum, to send her airborne. Her skis remained completely parallel and she crouched tightly as she exploded over the edge of the drop, a spray of snow in her wake.

She landed and immediately threw her skis sideways, a wave of powder arching up in front of her as Alexis slid to an equally abrupt stop behind her. “Well?” Campbell asked.

“Don’t gloat, darling. It doesn’t become that ‘aw gee shucks’ country-kid persona you do so convincingly.” Alexis feigned uninterest, but she had a grudging appreciation in her eyes.

Please feel free to leave comments, stories, or videos of your own favorite olympic moments in the comment section.


February 19, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. yes this OLD skier loved this…good writing girl…fun stuff

    Comment by C.P.Rowlands | February 19, 2010 | Reply

  2. Way cool, Rachel! I could feel the snow and the wind in my face. I have got to take up skiing.

    Comment by jackson | February 20, 2010 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: