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Getting wife into down hill?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I have been doing down hill since I was a kid. My folks would take the family to Deer Valley for skiing. I was enjoying both blues to double diamonds. Fast forward about 12 years, I haven't done down hill since then. A couple of years back we gave cross country skiing a try and she loved it, granted we had a very patient and knowledgeable coworker instruct both of us as we were both new to it. We try to go XC skiing a couple times a week out our back yard where there are narrow trails and she gets a good laugh when either of us fall. That being said, she tends to be a little anxious about some things and I am a horrible teacher. She doesn't like flying (takes ativan) or ferris wheels. My biggest worry is that she will be to scared to take the lifts. Should I give up here? The place does have a "magic carpet" and another place has a tow line. I think she could do those, but I worry about being on a bouncy ski lift.

 

It seems in Western NY there are some fairly cheap places to learn how to ski. One such place is 36 mins from my house. When I called the resort and spoke to a couple of people, they recommended that I leave her in hands of the instructor and go do my own thing. While I would prefer skiing on some more challenging areas, I worry she will prefer that I am there (for support). The class is beginners only, they suggested I do a snowboard beginner class, though I really don't have any interest in snow boarding. Also the snow boarding is a different class, but they say I can keep an eye on her better that way.

 

I really enjoy the sport and I do not want to screw up her first time out.

 

-Solarity

post #2 of 9

So your main concern would be her anxiety? If she is on Ativan, that suggests a little more than your average nerves. A couple things to keep in mind- First, as far as lifts go, lifts don't go nearly as high as a ferris wheel. You are off the ground, but rarely any more than 30 feet, typically more like 10-15 feet. Also, lifts aren't usually bouncy, the only bounce I typically feel on a lift might be right after loading, and it's pretty minor.

 

Second is the issue of her taking a lesson. I will state unequivocally that you absolutely should not attempt to teach her yourself. There are a few reasons. First off, you (no offense) do not sound like a very advanced skier yourself. No shame in that, but you only have a limited amount of time on snow that happened over a decade ago. Not the best candidate for teaching somebody else. Secondly, teaching your significant other is always a bad idea. I'm a professional instructor, and I don't teach my wife. On top of that, if your wife struggles with anxiety, that negative dynamic would be magnified a great deal. Honestly, that situation is the perfect recipe for an epic disaster. Don't do it. Have her take a lesson with a professional, and then get the heck out of there. That's right, get out of there. You will do nobody any favors by loitering about. You'll be bored, you'll be a distraction to your wife. When your wife struggles and you're there to "help" her, you will become a pretty big distraction to the rest of the class, and a major annoyance to the instructor. If that occurred in a lesson I was teaching, I would quietly pull the husband aside and ask him to leave.

post #3 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeski919 View Post
 

So your main concern would be her anxiety? If she is on Ativan, that suggests a little more than your average nerves. A couple things to keep in mind- First, as far as lifts go, lifts don't go nearly as high as a ferris wheel. You are off the ground, but rarely any more than 30 feet, typically more like 10-15 feet. Also, lifts aren't usually bouncy, the only bounce I typically feel on a lift might be right after loading, and it's pretty minor.

 

Second is the issue of her taking a lesson. I will state unequivocally that you absolutely should not attempt to teach her yourself. There are a few reasons. First off, you (no offense) do not sound like a very advanced skier yourself. No shame in that, but you only have a limited amount of time on snow that happened over a decade ago. Not the best candidate for teaching somebody else. Secondly, teaching your significant other is always a bad idea. I'm a professional instructor, and I don't teach my wife. On top of that, if your wife struggles with anxiety, that negative dynamic would be magnified a great deal. Honestly, that situation is the perfect recipe for an epic disaster. Don't do it. Have her take a lesson with a professional, and then get the heck out of there. That's right, get out of there. You will do nobody any favors by loitering about. You'll be bored, you'll be a distraction to your wife. When your wife struggles and you're there to "help" her, you will become a pretty big distraction to the rest of the class, and a major annoyance to the instructor. If that occurred in a lesson I was teaching, I would quietly pull the husband aside and ask him to leave.

 

I've been in a similar situation and agree 100%.  Getting her in private lessons would be ideal, but the best advice is to get out of the way.  You being there can mess things up in several ways.  

 

As for the chair, take that slow. If she's comfortable on the magic carpet, stay there until she's really comfortable. And then, have an instructor take her on her first chair ride.  Same reasons as above.

post #4 of 9
Agree with posts 2 and 3 completely, with the exception of chair lift heights. 15 feet is more like the minimum than the max, since if you get 7 feet of snow you'll be poking people in the face on the way up with your ski tips. I was on a chair lift yesterday that I swear was 80 ft up (Short Cut lift at the Canyons, Utah). Granted, it was crossing a chasm, but chairlifts routinely get 30-40 ft up. Having the bar down helps a little....


Lorazepam (ativan) impairs body balance and standing steadiness and is associated with falls and hip fractures in the elderly. Doesn't this sound like an issue when skiing, or is it only taken while flying?
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpikeDog View Post

Agree with posts 2 and 3 completely, with the exception of chair lift heights. 15 feet is more like the minimum than the max, since if you get 7 feet of snow you'll be poking people in the face on the way up with your ski tips. I was on a chair lift yesterday that I swear was 80 ft up (Short Cut lift at the Canyons, Utah). Granted, it was crossing a chasm, but chairlifts routinely get 30-40 ft up. Having the bar down helps a little....


Lorazepam (ativan) impairs body balance and standing steadiness and is associated with falls and hip fractures in the elderly. Doesn't this sound like an issue when skiing, or is it only taken while flying?

I was referring to how far the skis are off the snow. 10 feet is pretty normal when the chair isn't above a trail, 15 is pretty average for above trail.

post #6 of 9

Solarity,

 

Do you have any downhill stretches on your XC tracks? How would the wife react to climbing a tree and sitting on a branch? How does she react to scenic views? Have you discussed this with your wife at all yet?

 

One benefit of taking a snowboard lesson is that you will probably be a lot sorer than she is when you're done. Take one for the team buddy.

 

Sometimes the sight of the mountain is enough to set people off. If this is the case, plan on some well timed misdirection if necessary for where you go.

 

I once had a student who was very afraid of heights. She would only get on the beginner lift. She would keep her eyes closed the entire time and had a death grip on my arm while I kept her mind off the ride. But she did enjoy skiing. I've often wondered whether a gondola or a tram would have been ok for her. Do you have any nearby theme parks with chair or gondola rides to do a summer test drive? Some of the resorts around here have chairlift rides in the fall.

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the suggestions so far. I have/had no intentions of teaching her as I know I am a horrible teacher. She only takes meds when she is flying, though it seems the most stressful thing is not the flight, but the rushing around the airport to make the 15min connection from Terminal C31 to A1. Why they always like to put my connection on the other side of the airport, who knows. Multiply that by 3 flights, it can be stressful.

 

The day lift ticket is $60 alone, for $89 I can take a intermediate-advance refresher 1.5 hour course and it also includes rentals skis. For $99 I can take a 4 hour beginner course in snow boarding and it includes lunch as well as. While I do love skiing and naturally gravitate to it, I do think it is important to try new things. In Deer Valley, where I use to ski, snowboarding was/is banned. In any case I might also do a class, all be it a different one. At least it is a cheap way to meet someone at a similar skill level, while my wife learns. If I do snow boarding we could meet up after class ends and stumble together in our new sports, so we are at the same relative level. She does love it when I wipe out, she also laughs very hard when she falls.

 

So I guess what to do, if my wife says I have to be there, when she does it, or she won't do it? Would private lessons, be the only way to go for this? I think things went well when we had a XC coworker who is on the ski patrol show us how to XC ski. The other "resort" has a 5 day package 3x 1 hour at a small bunny hill that has a tow line. The person on the phone says it would most likely be a private lesson. Then there is 2x 1 hour lessons days at the main resort, where they have normal lifts, etc.Total cost is $160 including rentals. 

 

-Solarity

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusty View Post
 

Solarity,

 

Do you have any downhill stretches on your XC tracks? How would the wife react to climbing a tree and sitting on a branch? How does she react to scenic views? Have you discussed this with your wife at all yet?

 

One benefit of taking a snowboard lesson is that you will probably be a lot sorer than she is when you're done. Take one for the team buddy.

 

Sometimes the sight of the mountain is enough to set people off. If this is the case, plan on some well timed misdirection if necessary for where you go.

 

I once had a student who was very afraid of heights. She would only get on the beginner lift. She would keep her eyes closed the entire time and had a death grip on my arm while I kept her mind off the ride. But she did enjoy skiing. I've often wondered whether a gondola or a tram would have been ok for her. Do you have any nearby theme parks with chair or gondola rides to do a summer test drive? Some of the resorts around here have chairlift rides in the fall.

 

We do have down hill parts and we do mostly back country trails and seldom do groomed trails. I sometimes find XC more "scary" than the double diamonds. The narrowness of the trails sometimes means you do everything right or you end up in the bushes or wipe out. There is one very steep hill that is small, though since it is narrow and steep and has a ditch at the bottom and a 90 turn right after that. One of usually falls once on it, she will normally squat if she gets scared, though she does know how to snow plow. Yesterday we went a different way and she did well on a wide longer, but not as steep hill, while a friend of ours seemed very nervous. She knows how to snow plow. Again my biggest worry hands down are the ski lifts.

 

I think it is an excellent point you bring up about the view. She loves nature and loves scenic views. I think if we were in a gondola, it might be easier on her, though I have only been on one the whole time I have ski'ed and the biggest thing they have in my area are quads. 

post #9 of 9

I asked about the views because, for some, the ride on the chair isn't so bad but then they freak when they see the view from the top. Now you can use the views as motivation. If she can hack the chair ride, the view is a reward. And if she can learn at the bunny hill, the treat is a trip out West where they have trams and gondolas and better views. Like this one...

 

 

 

Having experience XC and plowing will help a lot. I've run XC'ers through an accelerated beginner program and had some making parallel turns on the bunny slope in 30 minutes. But do be careful about squatting. Women and ACL injuries are too common mentioned in the same sentence. Giving up and crashing on purpose is good, but no sitting falls please! (crash to the side and don't try to get up until after stopped)

 

The thinking here is that fun sliding and great views might outweigh sheer terror.

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