Originally Posted by WC68
Hi all, with season fast approaching, I thought I would bump this thread back to the top for any beginners looking for advice and curious how my never ever wife has done since that first trip to Utah in Jan '13. Some may be repetitive of other threads I've posted in, but thought that having it all in one place would be good for those curious about her progression. I won't be too detailed, but feel free to ask me questions or PM.
After getting back from DV the wife indeed had the fever. So much so, that the very next Sunday, she wanted to go up to Beech Mtn here in North Carolina. She did well, but it was a shock...she told me that if this was the first place I had taken her to ski that never would have gone again. Haha. But we ended up having a fun day and not getting killed by the hordes of out of control skiers. The stoke burned on...we quickly then planned our first family trip to Steamboat that same March. Hand me down gear was no longer an option. By the time we got to Colorado, my wife had more ski gear than I did...we got her boots from @miketsc who is a fitter that posts here on Epic. And of course some stylish ski wear that luckily was all on sale at our local shops. Let this be a warning to you guys getting the girls into skiing!
So off we went to SB with our two year old. We put her in the daycare for the whole trip, which she just loved. They have a great kids program at SB IMO. Our first night there, we had a little too much fun, so the wifes first day on the hill was less than spectacular. The new boots had not been skied in yet, and on the gondola, she was in so much pain, she said she couldn't do it. I sent her back down to get one of the shops to check them out and make some tweaks. She got back up the mountain and at this point it was storming pretty good. She was hungover, her feet hurt, and visibility was bad.
So we get off the gondola, ski left down Rudi's run. She didn't do well. It took several minutes just to get down to where 'Why Not' crosses 'Rudi's Run'. She went into full panic mode. Had a full on panic attack. Not good. We then decide to take Why Not, a long green run. This was no better. It's narrow and crowded. She cried the whole way down to Thunderhead lift. She said she couldn't ski any more. So I tell her we will just take Thunderhead up, and then ride the gondola back to the base...we get to the top, and the wind had shut down the gondola...oh crap. We ended up downloading back down Thunderhead (with others) and SB had a few vans there taking people back to the base. She was a mess. I figured I had just spent a ton of money on ski gear she would never use again...
She did manage to go back to the shop and get her boots tweaked a bit more, which seems to have worked. Even so, I encouraged her to take day 2 off, and just relax at the condo, while I skied and the daughter played in daycare. She had a relaxing day of reading and sleeping at the condo, and eventually her nerves calmed down. That night she also booked a small group lesson for day 3.
So day three,
I was nervous, but by the end of day three, when I met Mrs68 after her lesson, she was all smiles..had even done a black run! WTF? It was a crazy turn around...the next two days we skied together and had a fantastic time. She was even doing some easy trees in Morningside.
My advice to other noobs, is to take it easy on the partying your first night in town. It severely effected her. We had A LOT
of fun the first night, but just a little to much for her good (and mine really).
Last season was season 2 for Mrs.68. Again we had a trip booked to DV for a work meeting. After some amazingly messed up travel problems, she got to Utah a day or two after i did. She picked up right where she left off. Had a great time our first day skiing together. On the 2nd day, we decide to do a Max4 lesson together. That was somewhat of a mess. due to a number of factors. The other two guys in the group didnt have our same goals. The instructor was ok, but not quite as good as the last two that my wife had had. She was on some new demo skis she wasnt crazy about, took a tumble and hit her head. Harder than i thought and i didn't handle it the right way. She tapped out. This trip was a bit disappointing for her, but there was so much stress just getting out there, that it started out really poor. Still after getting back home, she rallied and was still anxious to go on our family trip.
Again we went to Steamboat in March. This year we put the 3yr old into ski school for the first time. She did great. My wife and i skied together the first day and it was great. She progressed really well. We really connect when we ski together. Its a great feeling. Even so..., she signed up for the 3 pack lessons (i guess im not that much fun:D). She had a blast doing that, so i decided to join them the next day. Great instructor. Really fun guy, Although i was probably a notch or 2 above the other 3 people in the group in skill level, our instructor was really good catering to each of us, giving advice and telling us what we needed to work on. We all did some easy bumps, and he had the group going down groomed black runs, which my wife did wonderfully. We lunched at the top of the Gondola with the group, which was great, and a lot of fun getting to know the other folks. Another cool thing he did, was take us to the NASTAR course. Probably something i wouldnt have ever done on my own, but it was a real blast. My wife and i get quite competitive...to say the least. We didnt run at the same time, but she swears she beat my time...i just dont see it.
The next day, she had one more lesson left, but i decided i was going to ski alone, as i was wanting to try out some different skis during the day. The instructor had told me the day before just to come meet up with us and ski with them just for fun....He ended up calling me before lunch telling me to get my ass to where they were to ski with them. lol. I did end up meeting them for lunch again, and of course the post lunch NASTAR race, which this time, i raced Mrs68 head to head....i was REALLY nervous. If lost, i wouldnt never ever hear the end of it. But i didn't. She wasnt far behind though. Lots of fun. She hasnt quite figured out how to carve a turn yet, but when she does im in trouble.Her progression and love of skiing has been amazing to me. Its really added a lot to our relationship; having an outdoor activity we are both passionate about.. I only wish we could ski more often. Believe me, ive been tempted to look for a job in SLC or DEN, but for now, we'll take whatever trips we can.
For beginners, what ive learned is that good initial instruction is critical. My wife's very first lesson, was not a good experience, and she could have very easily thrown in the towel. I wonder, how many people have done just that. Just had a bad instructor, and never tried it again. Its kind of a catch 22, or so it seems, that resorts put their poorest instructors with the complete noobs who end up having a bad experience. Seems to me, that having never ever's have a extremely positive first experience would be a goal of the entire resort ski industry...
I think the only way to insure that great first time experience is to get a private lesson. Thats what did it for my wife. She absolutely loved her private lesson. She even tried to book him last year for both of us, but it didnt work out.
This is a very expensive way to learn, especially at some place like DV, BUT, i think it shortens the learning curve, getting to the point of actually being able to enjoy skiing in a shorter amount of time.
As someone here said in another thread, "The family that Skis together goes broke together"...well we arent broke yet, but taking just a family of three on a nice trip is very expensive. It has definitely affected how we vacation. We dont take as many weekend getaways as we used to. Its a tough balance. But so far its been worth it. My next goal is to teach the wife how to do budget trips. Hopefully to give us another 4 day trip during the season. She is liking skiing so much, that i think she is to the point of being able to deal with lesser quality accommodations in order to ski more. That will also get easier as my child gets older.
Anyway, just wanted to post an update, id be glad to answer any questions.