The next morning we again ate at the hotel restaurant because they were serving free hot continental breakfast. They had me at free and hot.
We had eaten, checked out of our room, and were at the equipment rental place by 10. After another 30 minutes we were on the road to our skiing destination. Yesterday we found ample parking. However today since the weather were nice and we were earlier in the day, parking was a premium. On our second go around the parking assistants opened up a new parking area and we got the closest spot to the ski lodge.
We geared up. Now I’ve never been in ski boots and found it difficult to walk because it’s not like walking in normal shoes. I observed a guy walking to his car in ski boots and tried to mimic him. He was using a heel to toe flowing motion. It worked out better than what I was doing. I guess my girlfriend was impressed I was able to master the art of walking in ski boots. But…I didn’t know what laid ahead.
We got our all day lift tickets, which by the way were not cheap. But it’s better than walking back up from the bottom of the ski trails.
Let’s backup a few days…
Technology is great and the various apps are quite helpful. You can find anything online these days even learning how to ski. I found an instructor on YouTube that had a series from the never been on skis before to the those who have been in skis most their lives. Prior to the trip I reviewed the YouTube videos several times.
Getting in and out of the skis, the plow, the turns, and finally connecting the turns. So mentally I was prepared.
Jumping back to the current day…
Viewing videos and actually doing each of the maneuvers are two completely different experiences.
We started at a point where most of the beginners were. I clipped into my skis the same way I had remembered the YouTube instructor said to do. Then gently slid to the base of the little knoll. Okay not so bad.
I proceeded to go back to where we started and my girlfriend said, “This way honey.” I said questioningly, “I thought this was the bunny slope?” She said pointing the opposite direction, “No, that’s the bunny slope.”
My immediate reaction, “That’s a hill!” She laughed and said, “You’ll be fine.” Now I tried to recollect the video instructions and I remembered I needed to start out with my skis in the plow position. Basically the back of my skis were pushed out and the front of my skis were together creating a plow.
I started down the hill in the plow and I must have tilted my weight too much on one side and down I went.
I wasn’t even 20 feet from the top of this bunny slope. I clipped out of my skis, stood up, and clipped back into them. I again attempted the hill starting in the plow position and another 20 feet or so further I found myself on my backside again. By this time I was not even half way down this hill.
My girlfriend became my ski instructor the rest of the day. She came over to where I was and gave me some instructions on how to apply equal pressure. I followed her instructions and made it down the hill without falling again. I thought to myself, “Whew, well at least that was over.” I was observing other skiers making their way to the ski lift. My girlfriend motioned me towards the line to enter the lift.
I glided into place right next to her. Now she turns to me and says, “Now when I say go, you quickly move into position!” She was now pointing to the marker on where to stand for the next chair. I was still processing when she said “go” and didn’t move into place. So we waited for the next chair which were only seconds behind that one. I was ready this time and were in position for the next chair. Up we went. We only had about a minute before we reached to the top. She gave another set of instructions, “You want to keep the tip of your skis up and quickly step and slide off the landing. You vear right and I’ll go straight.”
The top approached fast and I prepared myself as she instructed. However since we didn’t practice turns yet I ended up going straight and she was the one who turned.
I practiced the plow on this next trip down the hill and completed that run with no falls. We went back up the lift and were back up the top of the bunny slope again. This time we worked on turns. She gave her instructions and not more than 20 feet I found myself sideways and laying on the snow again. Once back on my skis I attempted turning again. It was a rough go and thought I had it and boom back down.
I made my way to the bottom of the slope and recalled my mistakes. We got back on top of the slope and repeated the exercise of turning. This time I learned to open up my knees and let the skis do the work. I did much better and didn’t fall. One more time back up the slope via the lifts. This time my girlfriend coached, “I’m going to be your obstacle. You need to maneuver around me without hitting me. You practice your turns as well as your plows.”
We started down the slope with her in front causing obstacles for me to maneuver around. Left turn, straight, right turn, straight, and repeat. I made it down the slope again without falling. She congratulated me and asked, “Are you ready to tackle one the green slopes?”
I replied, “One more time down the bunny slope…”
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