After we found out what the challenges would be that we faced, a mix of excitement and nervousness began to build. I felt confident in all the physical challenges, just kind of nervous on the skills. And the entire first day was full of skills tasks. Being a bit hung over didn’t help matters. The #Insomnigames went into overdrive the evening before.
Our group drew the task of snow mobile drive-by first thing. As we began to suit up with helmets and goggles, I asked my teammate Katie if she had ever driven a snow mobile before? The answer was an immediate no, and I replied that I too had never been on one before either. I asked if she was ok with me driving, she was fine with it (probably because she didn’t want to hurt my masculine ego). On the way out to the archery range, I told Katie she was welcome to drive the snow cat back, she was excited. Our group went through the archery event quite quickly, I failed miserably firing EVERY shot high. If not for my teammate Katie hitting the target a few times, we would’ve walked away with Zero points. So I would say she had earned the right to drive the snow cat back. And she rallied that thing, telling me it was ok to hold on as tight as I needed to.
When we arrived back at the ranch, we found out it was our turn on the Hot chocolate run. We had to build a fire and a hut with only the supplies afforded us. We chose to build the fire first. If you’ve ever tried to build a fire in snow storm, you know it’s quite hard. But trying to build a fire with a magnesium block fire starter in the snow is almost impossible. I say almost, because 4 teams apparently accomplished this feat. We unfortunately were not one of them… The only thing I actually did accomplish was shaving part of my finger off, and swallowing an ounce of blood.
As we snowshoe off to the next challenge, I had my head down. I was seriously disappointed with the way I personally had performed in the games thus far. I felt we needed a major rally during the Our house event. The hut building challenge was a timed event, so I knew we were against a wall. I wanted to get both our perspectives, but with a sense of urgency. Katie once again had some really good ideas with packing a snow wall to block the wind, and fill the holes. I thought a log crossed the top for secure structure, anchored to a couple of trees. We burrito wrapped the tarp over the log truss, and we used the strings to tie down the tarp. At the door opening, we shoelace tied the tarp together. It was nice and cozy, and would’ve worked great in a jam.
I think we were pleased with our shelter building, but next we had the Needle in an Avalanche challenge. To find an object buried in the snow with an avalanche beacon. I had heard rumor that not many teams had done so good. So i saw this as a chance to gain ground. After a brief explanation of how the beacon worked, I felt we had a pretty good grasp on the situation. It only took us about a minute and a half to find the buried shoe, and the man in charge of the event said that our buried comrade would have lived. Although I thought we did a great job, there were quite a few teams who succeeded in less than a minute. So we were still somewhere in the bottom of the pack.
After the beacon event, we were eating a delicious lunch, and I randomly heard the door open. I turned and saw a somewhat shy girl who looked a bit lost. She was wearing a Columbia jacket, so I figured she was in the correct place. I began to turn around to finish eating, when it hit me like a snowball… THAT’S MICHELLE. S4’s long-lost teammate. She had finally made it. After many flight cancellations, delays and missed flights, she was there. We were all so happy to see that she made it. There were hugs all around. This girl was a trooper. Nothing was going to stop her from getting to Park City.
Dog days of winter was the only event we had left that day. We were able to watch the musher hook up all the overly excited dogs. And we learned some of the history of dog sledding. Which was good, because this event was a memory based event. I believe we scored 100% on the quiz afterwards. And I have to say, we saved the best for last. Riding in the sled was easily the most unique and fun thing I did while in Park City. Though the day didn’t quite go the way we had planned, I thought we finished it out nicely. Started slow, but Katie and I are strong finishers. And our strength events were still to come. We ended day one in 12th place of 15 teams, so we needed a perfect day 2.
That evening, we all went to Deer Valley for dinner and the World Cup Mogul’s Competition. Now I’m not a skier, but I have to say, what an awesome resort, stylish and beautiful. I took this chance to get to know Michelle, riding the bus in the seat next to hers, and taking the lift up together. I had spoken to her briefly on twitter, but nothing would’ve prepared me for what an amazing person she is. Truly a friendship that I hope lasts forever. The most positive person I’ve ever met.
That evening, drinking was off the docket. I wanted to be fresh and not hung over like the previous day. I needed to bring my A game. The #Omnigames were meant to be fun, but you take a bunch of competitive people and put us all in the area, its more like the Hunger Games.
Lookout Below – This is a high ropes course 50′ off the ground. A test of balance, strength, agility and team work.
Bridge the Gap – A shorter ropes course 25′ off the ground with problem solving, team work and balance testing.
Leap of Faith – An almost 400′ zip line above the treeline, ending on top of a 65′ tower with one way down… JUMP.
Downhill Derby – An hour and a half on the ski slopes, logging as much vertical elevation as possible.
Charles Dickens – What you are currently reading. Our best attempt at writing, videoing, blogging our time at the #Omnigames.
Please continue reading the next blog to find out how Katie and I finished the #Omnigames to this point… Suspense builder, Katie has a terrible fear of heights.