Clayton, You might be on the right track. But a big question is, does this only happen when you eat? what about stopping for the same amount of time and not eating?.5 Some big words
A few things could be going on that are affecting you. It seems as though you've been skiing for a little while before this happens, which would allow a decent amount of lactic acid to build up. We all have a lactate threshold, for some its higher then others. That threshold is the breakpoint at which the body cannot deal with lactic acid as fast as its being produced. Usually its shown in a graph form with intensity on the horizontal axis and lactate on the vertical. I think your problem maybe stemming from a breaching of that lactate threshold...lets see how this might happen.1. Increasing lactate concentration
~ As you're skiing your heart rate is higher, blood is moving at a higher rate and more lactic acid/other buyproducts are being removed. When you stop your heart rate will recover but your lactate production will still be occuring to replenish ATP (the energy molecule in your muscles) this is why "active cooldown" is recommended after working out.
~ The contraction of the muscles also act as a pump (aptly named "the muscle pump") This pump increases the amount of blood pushed back to the heart (venous return) which not only increases the volume of the next heart beat, but because the heart likes to be stretched it increases the force. (soldiers are taught to alternate flexing their calves so blood doesn't pool in their legs as they stand at attention... sometimes they pass out) So not only is your heart beating slower its not pushing as much blood as hard. These combine and you don't remove as much lactic acid2. the straw that broke the camels back...or something like that
So you get on the lift and you head back up (all of these things are still happening, although lactate production is probably down and the body is starting to get an edge on the high level of lactic acid)
The next few runs are going to add lactic acid to the already high levels AND your stomach/gut has diverted some blood flow which means that your body has a hard time dealing with all this acid... eventually the threshold is surpassed leading to an excess amount of lactic acid leading to fatigue and cramping.3. Eureka!
Look into sportlegs (www.sportlegs.com
i think?) or "soda loading" (supplementation with sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)(ps, put in capsules, don't try to drink that stuff)) as one solution or try to walk around with the hotdog so that your muscles work at a lower intensity to clear that lactate and don't be in such a rush to get back on the hill.... on second thought just walk around, i always get back at it asap too.
Hope this helps, or at least makes sense...4. Shameless Plug
ps. anyone looking to hire a recent exercise physiology grad? (i also have a interest in technical clothing research and design) I'm having a hard time paying for tickets and might resort to telemarking so that i can skin up for free...