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Do you remember your first day on skis?

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
I was in college around 1964 when I first went skiing--- I remember the Beatles were at the beginning of their popularity in the States. I went to a local small mom and pop ski hill with a friend who also had not skied before. Neither of us had any kind of instruction.

I had leather lace-up boots and wooden skies ( a blond color, don't remember the manufacturer ) well over 200 cm. The first time up the hill I sat on the T-bar (only lift they had), and toppled over backwards. My first yard sale! I remember the embarrassment of trying to get up out of the way (one binding released, the other didn't). Finally, after what seemed forever, I was able to retrieve and get into the ski that released. I was ready to try the lift again. I guess it would be more interesting if I fell again, and again, and again ---- but, I didn't. In fact, the rest of the day was fall free.

I probably didn't look like much when going down the hill. I was out of balance many times, but I able to catch myself and didn't fall.

I remember the experience as being an awesome time! I was hooked!
post #2 of 44
Nice subject! Sure, I remember MY first day. 1985. In a small ski resort, Pamporovo, in the middle of communist Bulgaria. I remember carrying my skis to the area where our ski school would meet (I had no idea how to put the damn things on!). Our ski instructor was a beautiful Bulgarian woman, about 25, who took no s...t - what she told you to do, YOU DID! NO ARGUING! She was a great, if rather demanding, teacher! But the main thing I remember about the day was, after ski school ended, meeting my mates in the bar and admitting that I had NEVER been so totally exhausted (knackered!) in my whole life before. It was true, I hadn't!

I was hooked .........
post #3 of 44
All I know was that I was almost 3 and with my family in Cortina. I don't remember anything from that trip, except that my older brother (who was 5 at the time) almost fell off a 100+ foot cliff. Gotta love the lack of signs and warnings....lol.
post #4 of 44
"Afterschool special" in 6th grade. We went to Camelback, I got my rentals complete with state of the art Spademans, complete with safety straps. Lessons? Lessons,,,schmeshons....straight over to the hill...I hit the bunn..err beginners hill and went straight down, literally and figuratively. For first timers, Spademans were a bear to get beck on while on a trail.

I've been hooked ever since.
post #5 of 44
Yes, I remember my first time. On a dry ski slope having a lesson. I went to a dinner dance that evening with a bruise covering one palm, an unusable thumb and dendrix patterns on my face. When you've skied on plastic, snow's easy.
post #6 of 44
Like it was "Yesterday".

Belle Mountain in NJ, all 150 vertical feet of it, winter of 64.

Her name was Sandy. She was in a snit because I was paying more attention to actually figuring the damned ski thing out. She ditched me for a local guitar player the next day, she later went on to live for awhile with George Harrison and crew and the local guitarist.

Me, I went back the next day too because I had only learned a big turn to the left. My life would not have been complete without learning to turn to the right. The Byrds must have had something to do with that ... "Turn, turn, turn" .....

Magic times.
post #7 of 44
Age 14, Mt. Seymore, North Vancouver. Skinny kid with 207 cm Elan wood skis with "metal" screwed edges and "step-in" bindings. Exciting stuff! The skies weighed more than I did.

I burned my gloves to the skin on the rope tow (nobody taught me the technique), and "skiing" was mostly crash and burn. I was hooked for life.
post #8 of 44
I still have the ticket. Jan 19, 2003, at Montage Mountain in Scranton, PA. They taught our group how to stand up, how to turn around in a circle (the spokes from a wheel thing), and a how to make a turn when actually moving forward on skis. We walked about 100 feet uphill and tried to come down with some semblance of form. It was ugly, but fun.

I can still remember the face of the instructor, and his helper. When the lesson was over, they said the next challenge is the bunny hill, encouraged us to go up and try coming down. I was scared to death, but did it twice. Took another lesson a few weeks later at Blue Mt.
post #9 of 44
Heck Yeah. In the front yard, 5 yrs old, dad gave a push : and down I went.

Straight line: .........just missed the Dogwood tree: .......over the bank made by the snowplow: (that would be the truck kind) and use the pavement to stop .......quite quickly.

Dad said I did good. (He had no idea what he had just done)
post #10 of 44
NW Artic Training Center,10th MT. Div. 1972 Ft. Greely,AK. Not much else to do but drink beer and ski. Sargent said I took to skis like a Duck to water.:-)
post #11 of 44
Great nostalgic post. We had a farm outside of town (Kane. Pa.) that had a steep hill where a rope tow was set up. I started skiing there in 1964. Season passes $5.00 . The money covered gas for the Model A engine that ran the rope tow. Skiing was an extension of sled riding for us. Technique was primative at best, except a friend's older brother that could ski with his feet together. He was a skiing God, he could ski parallel. I haven't used that word in about 25 years, and I think I miss spelled it!
post #12 of 44
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese
"Afterschool special" in 6th grade. We went to Camelback, .
Camelback on a school trip for me too! Except I was a junior in High School (1980). No lessons. Skidded around and thought I was doing well. I was trying my darndest to impress a guy in my class I had a crush on. Too bad he didn't notice me:

I was in jeans and my brother's cotton longjohns and a down jacket. I remember hating the girls on the trip who had color-coordinated specialty ski outfits and perfect hair.:
post #13 of 44
Originally Posted by DrFRAU
Camelback on a school trip for me too! Except I was a junior in High School (1980). No lessons. Don't remember much about technique or the experience except that I was trying my darndest to impress a guy in my class I had a crush on. Too bad he didn't notice me:

If you stand at the top of Camelback and look straight out you will see a watertower , just past that is a big brick building, that what my high school, Pocono Mountain. The day I went was the year of a pilot program back in 76.
post #14 of 44
On my first day I was 11 years old and it was 1961. It was at Snow Summit in Big Bear California. My dad held the rope tow down so that I could reach it. I grabbed the rope with a death grip, rather than grab gradually. I jetted forward, caught my dad by surprise and knocked him down. I continued to the top on my own. It was an important day.

post #15 of 44
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese
If you stand at the top of Camelback and look straight out you will see a watertower , just past that is a big brick building, that what my high school, Pocono Mountain. The day I went was the year of a pilot program back in 76.
Wow - the mountain right in your backyard! I went to Lourdes Regional in Shamokin - I think it was about a 2 hour bus ride.
post #16 of 44
Can't remember when I was 3, but my Mom always told me I was crying from the cold. May have had something to do with January at Whiteface. My wife would probably do a pretty good cry now if we went there. Of course, my parents always loved the cold - I'll never forget a February at Mont Tremblant.
post #17 of 44
On my 5th birthday, my parents gave me a set of department-store skis. I spend hours just walking around the house in the snow and climbing the little hill in our backyard, then straightlining down. Didn't make it to an actual ski area until I was 9. Didn't know what ski boots were or that your heels were supposed to stay down.
post #18 of 44
My senior trip in HS was to rocking horse dude ranch http://www.rhranch.com/
They had one hill and a rope tow in the mid 80's. That was a great day.
post #19 of 44
It was 1986, and I was 16. We just had a 2 foot dump and planned to take a free lesson on Sunday. It was packed, of course. My uncle who was going to ski with me saw the crowd and said "No way". Since my grades were decent, my Mom let me skip school on Monday. I was dropped off by my Uncle with his gear at Mt Wachusett. I had no idea how to put it on and no one to show me. I took the one hour free lesson and the instructor let me go early because I took to it very quickly, as I had been ice skating since I was 9. Took one run on the bunny hill, and cruised. This was too easy. So filled with adrenaline I went to the top. Looking down from the lift to the black diamond mogul run was when I got scared sh--less. I found the "easiest" way down based on what people told me (later found out it wasn't - I didn't know about trail maps yet) and it took me about 45 minutes of falling to get down. Then I found 3 easier blue trails that I skied the rest of the day, and I was hooked.

Funny/scary learning story: a year later, a bunch of guys went to Nashoba Valley. One guy had never skied before, and shrugged off the idea of taking a lesson. He got his rental gear and wanted to go to the top. Once there, we tried showing him how to snowplow, turn, etc. After about 3 minutes of that, he said f--- it, pointed his skis straight down the trail (an easy black because he didn't want to be caught dead on the bunny hill) and flew down the hill. We just stared in amazement as he somehow stayed up while totally out of control, bouncing from one foot to the other, arms flailing. Then he wiped. What a yard sale!!! There was this huge cloud of snow from which skis and poled flew, and we couldn't see him until the dust settled. He didn't move for a few seconds, and thought he'd be done for the night. Then he jumped up and ran to gather up his gear. When we got down to him, he yelled "that was awesome!!", proceeded to gear up, and did the same thing again. I couldn't bear to watch him do this all night, so a few of us parted ways and skied elsewhere well away from him. I found out the next day that he did this all night long. I hope by now (16 years later) he has either quit skiing or has learned some control.
post #20 of 44


I was in junior high. My sister took us skiing with a bunch of her friends.

My brother and I went up the toe rope. On the first run down my brother fell and sprained both his knees and ankles. We spent the rest of the day in the emergency room.

I went back to skiing in high school. My brother continued on as a swimmer, not a skier. Thank God!
post #21 of 44
I would have been about 8 years old, my brother about 6. My mother took us to Charnita (now Ski Liberty) near Emmitsburg PA. She rented gear for us and showed us the snowplow, showed us the "slowly grip the rope" way to grab the rope tow, and let us learn the rest as we went. since my brother and I were always competing with each other, we learned pretty quickly by copying what worked for the other.
post #22 of 44
Thread Starter 
One thing that I forgot to mention about my first time...........................................SKI ING. There were two hills, a bunny hill and another hill no more than a blue. However, to two novice skiers looking down from the top, it seemed like a MOUNTAIN.

My friend and I took a couple of runs down the bunny hill when we first began. Except for a few parents helping their kids, we were the oldest and largest skiers there. It was obvious we didn't know what we were doing (remember the lift incident). It must have been strange to see three foot tall kids giving pointers to 2 adults. It felt degrading, but we were eager to get any information that would help us survive going down the "BIG" hill.

The small hill was o.k., but the "big" hill was great! Our technique was poor, but we stayed until the lift operator threw us out. We returned the next day.

As I said before,
I was hooked!
post #23 of 44
I don't remember but I know I was 5 and had wood skis and leather lace-up boots...and my first ski friend became a pro racer and later, extreme skier.
post #24 of 44
Originally Posted by Yuki
Like it was "Yesterday".

Belle Mountain in NJ, all 150 vertical feet of it, winter of 64.
AAAAAAHHHHHH a fellow Belle Mountain Skier! Grew up in Langhorne. A pair of Lange Ski Shop rentals and off I went at the age of 7. Just for a few hours though. Don't think I ever skied the whole way down w/out falling at least five times................................

: : :
post #25 of 44
I have vague memories of my dad taking me to C.O.P. (then Paskapoo) in Calgary and going on a trip to Fernie (apparently I cried when my rentals were taken back). I was 3/4 at the time (now almost 24). Wow, just realized that's around 20 years.
post #26 of 44

Never too old to learn to ski !!!

First time was on New Years Day 8 years ago following a New Year's Eve dance. At the dance some friends - some skiers and some never-evers decided to go skiing the next morning at 9am. My wife and I were of the latter group. We took a lesson and then to the top of the way too icy hill. "Daa" wife took the ski patrol tobogan down due to two twisted knees as a result of the ice and an ungraceful departure from the chair, while the remainder of the never-evers were lead down the main trail. There is a lamp post at the mid way mark with my finger prints firmly implanted. The skiers of the group naturally passed by while I was becomming aquainted with the lamp post! We spent the rest of the day in the emergency room tending to my wife's knees. The bets were that I was the one that would "fall" victim to the new found sport - not my wife. Three years later we bought one of the friends straight skis and went to MSA in Quebec with the same group. Then we were hooked completely wishing for the past 30 years back. Never too old.... so, bring on the snow board!!!
post #27 of 44

Well, of course I do.

My first time skiing was 5 years ago (as a thirty something then) at Brundage in McCall, Idaho. A zero degree day, wonderful snow, and great instructors. I've been hooked since. For the past 25 years, I've lived an hour from the resorts on Mt. Hood and until the Brundage experience never really had a burning desire to ski. Whoa, did that all change in a hurry!

Now, if we had snow here in the PNW this season life would be grand.
post #28 of 44
December 1963. I was 9. My older brothers and I got skis for Christmas but nobody in my family skied. Our next-door neighbors were avid skiers and took us to Stevens Pass for our first day. I was wearing all wool, including my mittens which my mom had made. I was a klutz from the word go, my neighbor gave up on me before I even got to the bottom of the rope tow and abandoned me. My brothers were no help. I never had a more miserable day. I hated skiing.

Because of my mom who forced me to continue I later changed my mind and became the obsessed mental case that I am today. Thanks Mom!
post #29 of 44
My first day was in Dec. 1992 at Wisp, MD. I initially asked my friend Todd try to teach me how to ski, but we both quickly realized that he simply didn't have the patience to deal with a klutz like me. So it was off to ski school.

That whole first day I never once got off the lift without wiping out. I was PO'd (I figured I couldn't be that much of a klutz), so I went back again a week later and finally figured out that chair-lift thing. My first breakthrough!
post #30 of 44
1967. Boston Mills near Cleveland, Oh. Midview High School Ski Club. Austrian instructors. Buttermilk slope. Snowplow by weighting the ski you want to do the turning. "Das ist gut, Junge!" I've been schimitten ever since!!
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