Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Mah first ski trip (by kyle)
Two weekends ago, Vanessa and I did our first official Meet Up trip. V already told you guys all about it so you know what a blast we had. But I wanted to take a moment to recap one of the highlights of our magic little weekend; my first ski lesson. Scratch that. My first ski experience.
It started marvelously. Our organizer/leader extraordinare, William, got us a killer deal on the rental equipment. The shop even drove the gear out to the resort for us so we didn’t have to try to lug it all on the bus. We got pants, coats, boots, skis, poles and gloves, all for around 30$ which apparently is super cheap. The ski pass was 30$ for around 6 hrs. Again, insanely good prices. So we get there, and have a few issues with the lockers but we get straightened out with help from our new meet up buddies and we got bundled up and we were ready to “hit the slopes.”
The snow was pretty good apparently. Not a fresh powder but not too icy either. Just right for a beginner. Now I should say that I am extremely grateful to our new friends who helped teach me how to ski and I don’t mean any disrespect by what follows. I truly had a fantastic time and in practice, all the advice that I was given was spot on and very helpful. But in the interest of posterity, I’m going to try my best to convey my side of the story as biased as possible just so you all get a good sense of what it was like.
Kyle: (Thinking to myself; ok, boots feel snug, the snow seems nice and cushy for my tushy. Can’t get hurt that bad, it’s SNOW after all. Ok, so...where’d my instructor go? Aha, there they are over by the lift.) plop, plop, plop.
“Hey. Ok so now what?”
Michelle: “Ok, so put on your skis and we’ll take the lift up to the green slope and get started.”
Kyle: (Oh hell no!) “Wait, what? Aren’t we gonna start down here with the rest of the beginners?”
Michelle: “You need some incline to get going. It’s too flat down here.”
Kyle: (I don’t wanna get going, I wanna learn first.) “But I don’t even know how to put these on, let alone get on the lift. Can’t we just practice down here first before we go UP the hill?”
Michelle: “It’s your decision. Do whatever you want.”
Kyle: (I want someone to TEACH me dammit!) “Look, I’m just really nervous about going up there without a clue as to what to do. How do I get going? Once I do, how do I stop? What do I do when I fall? I know nothing!”
So then I get a basic run down of how to ski. Key points; 1. Snow plow to slow down. 2. Shift your weight from one leg to the other. 3. When you fall, keep your skis perpendicular to the slope. That’s about all you I needed to know. For those of you who have skied before, you know that this only SOUNDS simple. In practice, it’s a bit more complicated.
Kyle: (Ok, I’m feeling more prepared. I get it in principle. Let’s put in into practice!) “Ok, let’s do it.”
So Vanessa, Michelle, Lynn and Amy range from some experience to very experienced skiers. Erin, Kathy and myself are all newbies. We hop on the lift pretty smoothly and up we go.
Kyle: (Ok nice. That was pretty easy. The chair does all the work really. Look at those stinkin Korean kids zipping around. Show off brats. Wow, we’re getting pretty high up! Wait...) “Hey did that sign we just passed say Beginner Slope? Were we supposed to be on that side!?”
Vanessa: What!? Wait, what!? !$@% I think we were supposed to be over there!”
Kyle: (I’m gonna die.)
Vanessa: “Ok, it’s ok. It’s just a blue. You’re just getting a bit of a crash course for your first run.”
Kyle: (There’s no way I’m getting off this lift.) “Seriously!? There’s no other way down? I do not want to start off on this!”
Vanessa: “It’s either that or walk down.”
In reality, you can always take the lift back down, but as I looked and saw no one doing this, I thought she must be right. So long story short, I turned my skis perpendicular to the mountain and slowly pulled my way closer to the slope. Then, after the other newbies got going, I turned into the slant and off I went. Now I understood in principle how it was supposed to go. You shift your weight to the side you want to turn to and push with the other foot to sort of dig your way into the snow bank as you go. For the first 30 seconds you would have thought I had done it all my life. I actually made a good 4 full out, parallel skiing style switches from one leg to the other in very quick succession. The problem was that I picked up quite a bit of speed in the process and didn’t have a clue as to how to stop. The result was a face full of snow but all in all, not bad for a first run. Scary as hell, but not bad. It did nothing for my confidence however. This simple fact alone that I didn’t know how to stop was enough to give me a sense of discomfort but now that I had pretty much plummeted down the mountain side at what felt like break-neck speeds gave me a sense of unease that really didn’t go away until my 3rd trip down.
In all honesty, I was less concerned about falling in the cold yet cushy snow and more concerned about barreling into one of the many 6 year old korean’s that were all over the place. Again, to be fair, the instructions I got from those helping me were spot on, but in my state of petrification, I couldn’t for the life of me remember what I was supposed to do.
Anyways, by my third trip down the green slope I had definitely gotten the hang of it and the rest of the day was extremely fun. My only complaint is that skiing is far too costly. I can certainly see the attraction to it but my lord is it an expensive hobby. Even with the 50% discount, I wasn’t willing to fork over the 60$ to go another day. So even though my first taste of skiing was a bit of a trial by fire, I have to say it was a fantastic day that I won’t soon forget and I recommend it to everyone who gets the chance...and a discount...and maybe some beginner lessons ;)