Hedger Corp: Ski Retreat!

The saga of Hedger Corp, told in weekly installments. More here.

When I told the staff we were going on a ski trip for Spring Break, they were less than enthused. They have no idea how to ski. They don’t WANT to ski. And they did not appreciate that I was making them use their vacation time for the trip.

The only one who seemed excited was Brandon. He sang the John Denver song “Rocky Mountain High” the entire way. With such heart.

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When we arrived, we took a group photo. Unfortunately, Brandon was the only one who thought to dress for the weather. Everyone else just wore their work clothes. (Not a good idea, people.) Derek’s short-sleeved shirt was an especially poor choice.

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It was getting really cold and snow was starting to come down, so we took refuge in a nearby chalet. It had a unique design, but provided very little warmth or shelter.

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Brandon, ensconced in his attractive wool sweater, took a walk around in the snow. He happened upon a bunch of skis that looked like they were for the employees. He called everyone over to take a look.

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The employees grew concerned. I had told them they would be taking beginner ski lessons. Yet some of the skis were clearly marked “X-Treme.” This seemed… not good.

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Just then one of the instructors arrived via snowmobile.

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He was an intense fellow with a strange look. And he was brandishing what appeared to be some sort of lightsaber.

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Without a word, he kicked his snowmobile to the side.

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Then he struck a pose and held it for a long, long time.

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Finally, he swooped into another pose. Brandon seemed entertained but the rest of the crew was starting to freak out.

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Suddenly, the instructor whipped around to face Ted. Then he stuck the lightsaber thing right up in his face.

“You,” he whispered.

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He did a little leap over toward Derek.

“And you.”

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Anticipation grew as the instructor paused… deciding who to select next. Snow was really falling. The powder was getting quite deep.

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“YOU!” he shouted as he jabbed at Bob’s glasses.

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Ted, Derek and Bob shuffled to the side, afraid of what was going to happen next. Meanwhile, Ann and Sue exchanged glances. Maybe they had been spared?

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Indeed they had. Another instructor showed up — this one for Anne, Sue and Brandon. He was extremely awesome. That much was clear.

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Sue’s excitement was tempered a bit when her arm broke off.

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Hmm. Not ideal.

Still, she soldered on. Sue, Ann, Brandon and the Awesome Instructor walked over to the magic carpets. The “carpets” were moving sidewalk-things that carried them up a very small bunny hill. Barely any effort required. This was going to be fun and SO awesome!

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Things weren’t as awesome for the other group. The seemingly insane instructor forced them to carry their skis up an enormous cliff. Trudging through waist-high powder.

Up, up, up…

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Finally, they reached the top. But this didn’t make things better.

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Ted took a deep breath as he looked at the vertical drop-off. The instructor had no patience for this hesitation, and gave Ted a jab with the lightsaber.

That did the trick.

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He did the same to Derek, who fell head-first into the powder and got stuck. Grumbling, the instructor continued to stab at Derek, half-heartedly trying to free him.

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Back at the magic carpet area things were more awesome than ever.

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After they made it down the bunny hill a few times, the group took a break in the nearby warming hut.

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They cuddled, told stories and had a grand old time.

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Meanwhile, Bob was about to die.

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He stood at the precipice and put on a brave face.

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Then the instructor started shouting things at him. Bob thought he heard the instructor say, “Here comes the kick!” Could that be right?

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It was right.

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Bob slid down, down, down until he reached a sheer drop-off…

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…and from there it was a free fall.

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He landed with a thud next to the warming hut. The crew inside was too busy laughing and singing. They heard nothing.

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Ted was not far behind. Down, down, down he went.

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And Derek made three.

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Things were bad.

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But they were about to get even worse.

The instructor did not want to ski down such dangerous terrain. He opted instead to take his snowmobile. But all his driving and spinning around created an avalanche below him.

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A wave of snow rushed down the mountain and buried the guys.

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Somehow the warming hut was spared.

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The instructor arrived at the bottom of the mountain to see what happened with the avalanche.

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Then he realized he didn’t care what happened with the avalanche. He just wanted some hot chocolate.

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Eventually, Brandon realized there was a problem and dug the guys out of the snow. That Brandon. He’s the best.

Everyone reconvened near the water cooler that we brought from the office.

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Had it been the best ski trip ever? Possibly. Except that Sue’s arm broke clean off. And the guys almost lost their lives.

The ride home was rough, I’m not going to lie. Somehow Sue’s leg got detached as well.

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The crew was eager to get back to the office — and that’s saying A LOT. Little did they know something horrifying was in store for them back at home…

Stay tuned!

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