Saturday, March 10, 2007
Day 17 - 03/09/2007
Skiing was a blast. We got there around 1130a and by the time we got our equipment and lift tickets it was past the hour so we missed the first opportunity for a lesson. With that in mind, we went on the Launching Pad (sort of like a moving sidewalk, but on snow) and I tried to teach M the fundamentals of skiing. I quickly found out that this wasn't going to succeed so after a few runs, we sought out the instructors to get that lesson.
At Whitetail, there's a ski-school element that looks to be pretty successful. All day long classes are held on a ski-up basis (for those who've purchased the lessons). The classes are 1-3 skiers per instructor, giving the students a great chance to be singled out during the lesson.
M was a bit concerned on the drive up that she was going to be taking a lesson, because lessons were for babies. I tried to explain to her that beginners in any subject, no matter how old they were, needed to take lessons in order to be successful. Apparently something clicked (or maybe it was the snow and seeing bigger kids taking lessons) and she was more than willing to go with the instructor on her own. She and an 18 year old girl made up her class and the fact that the girl was in college really impressed her. I'm guessing she realized that what I was saying was true and she made the most of it. On the way home she said that the favorite part of her day was the lesson.
After she finished up the lesson, we hit the easy trails a few times and then stopped for lunch. Afterwards, seeing how good she was on the easy slopes, I suggested we head higher. The first run down she did great. Nice easy turns and then she started heading down hill...fast. She slowed herself down and stopped and then did the same thing again. This time she went the rest of the way down the slope. Wow. I was quite impressed. When asked if she wanted to do it again, she immediately answered "Yes!" So we did it again, but the outcome couldn't have been any different.
I guess the second time at the top, she realized how high up she was and saw how long the slope was and I think it spooked her. It was also a wee bit more crowded, so maybe that had something to do with it. Regardless of why, she no longer had the confidence she had before and before long she crashed. I righted her and we started back down whereupon she crashed...again. That was it. She was bawling about how she didn't want to ski anymore and here we were halfway up the mountain. (Mountain in the Mid-Atlantic sense that there's about 900+ feet vertical between the top and the bottom.) It was this crash that gave her one of the nastiest bruises I've seen in quite some time. I'm sure it's going to hurt for a week...at the very least. I had to buddy ski her down the rest of the way, having her hold on to my poles as I snowplowed down the trail. (This was after I tried to hold her hand, which worked going side to side, but not in the turns.)
Not wanting this to be the last memory of the day, I sold her on the idea of hitting the easy slopes again. We did and she skied like there was no tomorrow and we stayed on the easy slopes for the rest of the day. She gained back whatever confidence she lost and was soon not only going up the lift by herself, she also went down the mountain by herself.
We got home around 940 and she crashed hard. Surprisingly enough (or not, considering she put forth a lot of energy yesterday), she's still asleep 12 hours later.
All in all it was a great day (the foray up to the blue squares notwithstanding). On the way home, she missed her geegee (what we refer to as her security blanket), so I had to distract her with music. She latched on to a couple of songs on the Traveling Tunes CD (#4) and we played them again and again and again and...well, you get the idea. Actually, it wasn't so bad as I like both songs (Depech Mode's "I Believe" and Barenaked Ladies "When You Dream"), so hearing them repeated was fine with me. I thought it was a great way to end a great day.