Charles Agar: Aw, Crud |

Charles Agar: Aw, Crud

Charles Agar

When I get sick, I roll up into a little ball of self and wait to die. It happens about once each year – usually this season – that my body rebels against me and I become a phlegm factory racked with pain, chills, fever and a persistent, rasping cough that could shake the fenders off of a Ford F-150. The Crud.

The only cure I’ve found is to sleep the clock around and catch up on a year’s worth of bad sit-coms and reality TV. I consume mass quantities of juicy beverages, experiment with mind-altering, but mostly ineffective, over-the-counter medicine and wax poetic about my own demise, something like Marcel Proust, the French novelist who spent his entire life in a sick bed.

Closing the blinds to keep out all of that spring sunshine, I crawl into blankets on the couch with my remote control and close the lid against the world.

I even turn against those who love me. Instead of telling my girlfriend something like “That’s OK, honey. I don’t need anything right now, but thanks for asking,” I give a guttural “Rrruh ruh,” wave my arm at her and turn to watch another Lifetime special as I fall into another fit of coughing.

What’s worse is being sick during all of this recent beautiful weather, the kind of warm temperatures and sunshine that usually inspire me to go tackle the sun-softened moguls or pull the old road bike out of the gear closet and get moving.

Maybe it was the black-market antibiotics I finally scored or all the sleep, juice and TV, but I got better the other day just in time to enjoy some great fresh snow up on the hill.

An experienced elementary school teacher might have their own theory about the timing of my recovery. (They probably witness hundreds of such miraculous healings that coincide with vacations, the weekend, or the day after an important test.) I think it was the fresh snow and the return to winter ski conditions that snapped me out of my sickly funk.

Alive again on Tuesday, I got to tag along with a professional photographer and some top-notch skiers out to showcase their best powder turns for the camera.

We hit some great lines on Mary Jane, from the steep Pine Cliffs at the top of Super Gauge to the trees, rocks and drops off of Derailer. Then we found powder stashes near the Eagle Wind lift, and at the end of the day skied the gnarly steeps on Topher’s, the little hike-to stash between Sunnyside and Trestle. The snow was like peanut butter and soft-sliding with every turn.

The skiers dropped just about anything, which was great to watch, and I was so psyched to be out in the sun and on the slopes all day that I guess I just forgot that I was supposed to be sick and miserable.

Maybe getting “The Crud” is just a state of mind driven by the weather. At least Proust thought so when he wrote: “A change in the weather is sufficient to recreate the world and ourselves.”

Charlie reckons that good mountainbiking, kayaking, hiking, or a trip to Mexico could probably heal him too. Contact him at,

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.