Some scary things from childhood stay with you your whole life.
On one vacation in the 60s, my family skied in Sun Valley, Idaho. My little sister and I were on a chair lift half-way up Dollar Mountain when the girl in the chair ahead of ours, leaned way forward, as if trying to fix her safety strap. The next instant, she FELL 20? 30? feet, landing in a mangled sprawl on the slope. I have a vague memory of seeing blood and hearing her scream in agony, but maybe I'm making that part up. In any event, we heard later that she broke both her legs, and that pretty much cemented my fear of heights.
But why waste a terrifying experience! I drummed it up for The Blizzard on Blue Mountain, #5 in the Cabin Creek Mystery series. If you notice the cover [upper right], there's a broken chair lift. In the story Claire and her friend Sophie find themselves on the damaged chair, not realizing the danger. They hang on for their lives, their snowboards weighing them down. Their fright is what I imagined that girl on Dollar Mountain must have felt so many years ago.
PHOTO [upper left]: my brother and I getting ready to hit the slopes in Snow Valley, California. Check out our chic pants & boots.