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Earliest Recolection - related to skiing

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
A recent post by Maximus got me thinking about my skiing history a bit and I was doing the old sit back and recall my first memory related to skiing thing . The bus ride up to Sunshine Village from the parking lot is a good one and being drug around the streets of Banff from ski shop to ski shop.
But the first one is hanging out in the back room where my dad and uncle waxed skis , the smell of the wax , waking when somebody was taking off my ski boots after falling asleep in the big chair and being carted off by mom because it was bed time.
Anybody care to add a memory?
I'd like to hear Ott's!!!

[ November 20, 2002, 11:10 AM: Message edited by: Leeroy ]
post #2 of 19
I remember driving through a horrendous snowstorm in Denver and by the time I got through Eisenhower tunnel it had stopped snowing altogether. That was my first official ski trip. On that trip I took a beginner lesson at Keystone and I'll never forget the absolute adrenalin I got the first run down. That is hard to recapture anymore.
post #3 of 19
Seeing two pair of bright new skis under the Christmas tree. I was rivited to them at 6:00AM that morning. My parents were not responding quick enough. Damn, what was wrong with them, didn't they know that Santa had been there! I was sure the red pair were mine but alas, they were my older sister's pair. Damn, I got the blue pair, she got to pick everything first. She was Lucy, I was Charlie Brown.

They were made of Maple with screwed on metal edges and brand new cable bindings. Man they were slick. I could ski everything with them from my perch in the living room chair. I couldnt' take my eyes off of them. Never mind that the only boots that we had were the plastic vinyl kind with the little loop thingy. My parents had gone way out on a limb for us. They paid $3.00 a pair for those skis at Monkey Wards. Out came the parafin wax and drawing on the bottom of them like we had big crayons.

Outside with them as fast as we were allowed. Two beautiful new inches of snow. I managed to get help putting them on and just stood there "Rippin the big ones in my mind". A shove from the backside brought me back to reality and a quick trip down the ravine into the ditch. Bammo! face plant on the other side. I was devestated but also hooked. I ski today and my sister hasn't skied since 1970.

That fabulous day was December 25, 1959. :
post #4 of 19
Franz Klammer, Gold, 1976, Innsbruck.

I didn't ski till 22 years later but in my mind's eye I can still see segments of that wild ride.
post #5 of 19
When I was seven years old (1968), I started skiing on a tiny local hill 2 miles from Greenfield, MA. that had about 200ft. vertical, 2 poma lifts, no snowmaking. I remember being dropped off for the day and skiing unsupervised through weeds, brush, woods, and sometimes powder. Those adventures on skis are what I still remember and why I enjoy skiing in the glades.

Other early memories: 1) all those laces for the boots!
2) family day trips to VT to ski.
3) Jean Claude Killy

I hope my kids will also have fond memories of skiing at the turn of the century.
post #6 of 19
My earliest rememberance was the long drive up to tahoe in my dad's citreon wagon sleeping in the back and the climbing up the hill sideways and sliding down between my dad's legs. I guess I was 3 or 4.

one of my most memorable things was right after an epic storm, My dad decided we had to go skiing. the drive up old highway 40 into Sugarbowl, As we drove in, it was like driving down a long hallway. The snow drifts were probably about 15-20 feet on both sides of the road, cut almost straight up. Then skiing there was a tunnel cut through the snow drift at the top of Mount Lincoln at the top of the Silverbelt. you had to lift your feet up and rest them on the snow starting about 2 towers back from the top. and the drift actually went over the top of the chair and there was the tunnel all the way up to the top and you popped out and got off just as the tunnel ended. I still remember my silly brother trying to "kick up some snow" as we entered the tunnel and getting pulled off the chair. He had to climb around the outside of the tunnel and hike up to the top of the chair to meet the rest of us.
post #7 of 19
Anyone ever been to Mt. Spokane? If you go there today, there is little sign of it, but about halfway up the mountain road used to be an establishment called Linder's Lodge ("Linger Longer at Linder's") that had a short rope tow in back. My first skiing experience was on Linder's rope tow when I was a toddler. I thought it was the coolest place in the world.

My folks thought it was a dive. We only went there that one time. In the future we continued on to the real ski area, which had two chairs and a serpentine of rope tows that ascended halfway up the mountain. We kids were stuck on the rope tows for YEARS. I was 7 before Mom relented and let me start riding the chairlift.

The other thing that seems emblematic of my first years was our family's lunch duffle, a jaunty red plaid plastic padded contraption with matching thermos. Only the very rich people ever bought their lunch, a prohibitive luxury (even then).
post #8 of 19
My first ski related memory was my first time ever to a ski area. I even remember the name of my instructor. I bet you Ott knows him. My best friend and his family went skiing all the time and he use to show me pictures of him skiing and tell me how great it was. I could tell from his excitement that skiing meant a lot to him and his family. He would try to describe the feeling and I became jealous. I would think about nothing but skiing. I would steal my dad’s SI and cut all of the ski related pictures out. I bugged my mom until one day she broke down and called my friends family and got the lowdown on how to get me into skiing. She called up the Boston Mills Ski School and got me lesson. We had to drive an hour to get there and the day was blue and bright when we left.

I got my rental equipment and met my instructor. His name was Ralph Frank. I can remember because he said that he was the guy with two first names. He spent quite a lot of time with me and by the end of the lesson I was stopping, turning and riding the t-bar and towropes on the beginner slopes. I started snowing halfway through my lesson. I don’t remember coming in to even eat. I do remember trying to get a few more runs out of my lift ticket even though my 6-hour session was over. I was elated and energized at the end of day. It was dark outside and it was dumping. Mom was not the best driver back then and got lost in the snowstorm on the way home. The one-hour trip took 2.5 but I was up for the entire ride looking outside at the wonder snowfall. I didn’t have the heart to ask my mom when we were going back as she tried to negotiate those slippery roads back but I did the next morning.

I never looked at snow the same way after that ride home that night. And thanks mom for taking me back!! Now I teach kids on the same hill that I learned on and I hope that one day some grown up ski addict will say . . . yeah I remember my first lesson . . . what was that instructor’s name? Ah yes . . . Ed.
post #9 of 19
It was the winter of 1986, I was 5 years old. My family had travelled to Bangor, Maine for a week's vacation. Friends of the family were skiing at a resort in Greenville called Squaw Mountain, and invited us to come for a visit while they were there. So My mom, dad, sister and I pilled into our Burgandy Dodge Reliant (K-car) and made the trip. At the same time a huge storm was brewing in Greenville, and by the time we arrived, we were already snowed in. The K car wasn't going anywhere. Upon suggestion from our friends, we figured since we were already there we may as well try skiing. I remember leaving the rental shop with my skis, and getting help putting them on. I remember sliding down that first little way to the bunny hill, and how much fun it was. Next I recall that my dad, being adventurous and all wanted to go "to the top" so he and I and his friend went on the chair up the mountain. My first real ski run! About halfway down the run, I twisted my knee badly, and had to be carried the rest of the way by my dad's friend, who was an experienced skier. The rest of the time we were there, which was probably a couple days, I sat in the lobby of the lodge/hotel and watched T.V with the Saint Bernard that lived there.. My only other memory of my time there was watching a skiing parade of lights, where skiers skied in formation holding candles at night as the crowd watched from the bottom.

After we got home, we started skiing all the time..
post #10 of 19
Here is a story I told in an earlier post, two posts actually. Not an early recollection, but it does stand out! [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img] It was in response to Lucky’s post, which follows:

Lucky’s Post:

Even if you aren't a skier, you'll be able to appreciate the humor of the slopes as written by a New Orleans paper.
"A friend just got back from a holiday skiing trip to Utah with the kind of story that warms the cockles of anybody's heart. Conditions were perfect, 12 below, no feeling in the toes, basic numbness all over, the "tell me when we're having fun" kind of day.
One of the women in the group complained to her husband that she was in dire need of a restroom. He told her not to worry, that he was sure there was relief waiting at the top of the lift in the form of a powder room for female skiers in distress. He was wrong, of course, and the pain did not go away. If you've ever had nature hit its panic button in you, then you know that a temperature of 12 below doesn't help matters. So, with time running out, the woman weighed her options. Her husband, picking up on the intensity of the pain, suggested that since she was wearing an all-white ski outfit, she should go off in the woods and no one would even notice, he assured her. The white will provide more than adequate camouflage. So she headed for the tree line, began lowering her ski pants, and proceeded to do her thing. If you've ever parked on the side of a slope, then you know there is a right way and wrong way to set your skis so you don't move.
Yup, you got it!!! She had them positioned the wrong way. Steep slopes are not forgiving, even during the most embarrassing moments. Without warning, the woman found herself skiing backward, out-of-control, racing through the trees, somehow missing all of them and onto another slope. Her derriere and the reverse side were still bare, her pants down around Her knees, and she was picking up speed all the while. She continued backwards, totally out-of-control, creating an unusual vista for the other skiers. The woman skied, back under the lift, and finally collided violently with a pylon. The bad news was that she broke her arm and was unable to pull up her ski pants. At long last her husband arrived, put an end to her nudie show, and then summoned the ski patrol. They transported her to a hospital. While in the emergency room, a man with an obviously broken leg was put in the bed next to hers. "So, how'd you break your leg?" she asked, making small talk. "It was the darndest thing you
ever saw", he said. "I was riding up this ski lift and suddenly I
couldn't believe my
eyes. There was this crazy woman skiing backward out-of-control, down the mountain, with her bare bottom hanging out of her clothes and her pants down around her knees. I leaned over to get a better look and fell out of the lift." "So, how'd you break your arm?"

My Replies:

It is hard to admit but something similar happened to my wife at Mt. Bachelor 10 or 12 years ago. She stopped in the trees near the old red chair to take a quick pee. She dropped her pants and when she squatted, the snow behind gave way just enough to start her sliding backwards. She actually slid out of the trees and into view of the red chair before she fell over. As I remember, she was in view of the chair for a few minutes while trying to stand up and pull up her pants.
I couldn't help her since I was laughing so hard I couldn't stand up.
Wife and I spoke last night, and she thinks the "event" occurred closer to the Outback lift. Hmmm, maybe, but I doubt it. She wasn't really ready yet to talk about the whole thing, still too traumatic I guess.

PowderJukie, the only reason wife is not a widow is: 1. I had just finished and zipped up (and therefore didn’t burst my bladder and die). 2. I was standing on a nice flat spot when she dropped out of sight. At first I thought she slid just a few feet, not as far as she actually did. That gave me just enough time to compose myself before skiing down and seeing just how bad the situation was. Fortunately, the only thing hurt was her pride.

I have to say that she was as mad as a wet hornet for quite a while. Apparently, I didn't do the knight in shining armor routine quickly enough. I was laughing so hard I had trouble standing even once I got down to her.

The expression on her face as she slowly disappeared, priceless, for everything else there's MasterCard.

It really was a touching and romantic moment.

post #11 of 19
I remember skiing a few times at a very young age, but nothing to specific.

I was very lucky, my parents put skiing into my life at such a young age, that it has always been part of my life. For as long as I have been old enough to remember things, I have been a skier. There were always a pair of skis in my bedroom, summer or winter, at all ages. My parents have pictures of me barely able to walk, in a snow suit on the hills, while not on skis, I was still at the resorts. Thank you Mom and Dad, sorry I moved so far away, but you taught me to ski, you only have yourselves to blame!
post #12 of 19
My first 'ski related' humbling experience was when I ventured on my very first package ski holiday abroad to Europe. Needless to say, being ecstatic over the prospect of going on a real ski hol, was a gross understatement. The venue was a delightfully, little picturesque Austrian hamlet in the Tyrol. It was part what used to be called in those days the 'Grossraum' region. I had pre-booked ski school and also spent a small fortune kitting myself up with all the ultra-latest ski technology money could buy and I could carry. I was a skier now [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img] and I felt like a king, I felt brash and I felt arrogant, I would show them all at ski school in my latest ski gear. Anyway, on my first day at ski school we had lots of fun, thrills and spills. Everybody in the group told me how impressed I looked in my ski gear, they all wowed when they saw my 195cm Volkli planks which I could just about carry. That evening, still feeling full of myself, I swaggered into the ski shop, brushing shoulders with fellow skiers. I approached a huge Austrian leaning on the work table in the ski workshop. I thrust my pride and joy skis at him and said rather brashly "I would like these waxed and edged please!" He didn't move from his position. Instead an amusing twinkle appeared in his eyes and the corners of his moustached mouth turned up ever so slightly..
"WHAT FOR!" he growled..
post #13 of 19
Ah, yes- I remember it well....

My first day on skis, December, 1967. I was 10, living in Munich, Germany. The US military still to this day operates several small ski areas in Germany for their active duty and dependent personnel.

My dad decided that since we were in Europe, we would do as the Euro's- we would ski. Can't say I was much of an athlete at the time, too tall, too skinny, and had just moved there from San Antonio, TX.
So what did I care about snow, other than it was fun to throw.

We drove the 2 hrs to Berchtesgaden, on the German side of the border, near Salzburg. After what seemed to be hours getting fitted with clothes(very baggy), boots(that hurt), and skis(way too long!), we finally got out on the snow!. Nice to know, some things don't change!

As a family ( Mom, Dad, 6 of my brothers and sisters, and I), we took a 2 hour private lesson with a German instructor who spoke very little English. I remember walking around, falling, getting up, and falling again.

This seemed to go on for the entire afternoon. By the early afternoon, all of my family had graduated to the rope tow servicing the beginner slope, except me. I kept walking, falling, and getting up. The idea of sliding down that hill terrified me!

At some point during the second day, I gathered up the courage to go down that beginner slope. And as they say- it was all downhill from there.

Since then, I have never looked back. It became the sport which provided me the coordination(and confidence) to play tennis, baseball, football, and just about anything else I have attempted since!

While teaching in Switzerland a few years ago, I had the opportunity to borrow a car, and drive into Germany. While tracing a few of the paths of my youth, I had to go back to the SkyTop Lodge, and visit the slopes which propelled me into the career that's now lasted almost 30 years.

It was a step back in time! Very little had changed, the lifts were still the same(with a couple of new ones), the base facilities were unchanged, and even the cafeteria tables hadn't moved. If the lodge had been open, I'm sure I could have found the table with my named carved discreetly on one edge! Though it had closed for the season and no one was around, the memories were hauntingly clear.

I could almost see a young boy, out in the flat space in front of the lodge, struggling, falling down, and getting back up. How glad I am, that the young boy didn't give up!
post #14 of 19
Fall, 1964? My oldest brother took my other brother, mom and dad and me to buy our first set of skis. Oldest bro's first job and first real big Christmas present to the family. It was first set for the three bro's and dad. Mom skied on the local hills back in the fatherland before the War in the '30s. She strapped leather thongs to hand carved skis and sidestepped up to ski down.

We went to the Northside of Pittsburgh to a sporting goods shop. I remember it was on E. Ohio St. not far from where the Pirates and Steelers's stadiums are today. Standing in the ski department Mom said, " Put your hand over your head." The salesman picked a set of wooden skis with removable segmented edges that came to my wrist. That was how I was sized. Cable bindings with releasable toes were mounted. My boots were leather with a lace able inner boot and a lace outer boot similar in design to the Hockey skates of the day.

When we got enough snow, my mother took the boys to a local golf course and we would side step the hill to pack the snow (it would last longer and we would go faster.) My mother taught us to plow and turn and we would spend the rest of the day just falling and laughing and getting soaking wet, then the cotton cloths would freeze.

Soon we moved our base of operations to my Uncles 5 acre spread. It had a steeper, longer hill. Bob's family would schuss the hill while Bill's would sled on the 'rosebud' radio flyer sleds. We would build jumps. I would always crash and burn. Later we would have hot chocolate.

My first encounter with a lift was when the County Park installed a rope tow and a few pomas and snowmaking. That local hill is still there, Boyce Park, with a towering 150ft. vertical or so. Nearly 3 times the size of Uncle Bill's Hill. The first time I tried the rope tow it rubbed holes in my new nylon gloves as I tried to grip hard enough to have the rope pull me. I spent the rest of the day crashing on the rope tow. Finally, By the end of the day I made it to the top, got turned down hill and made a straight run to the bottom and attempted a Hockey stop and crashed and burned.

I've been crashing and burning since. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #15 of 19
Have a very vivid memory of our first trip out west to ski at Keystone. We arrived at the Denver airport at about 4pm in the middle of a snowstorm. Our flight was one of the last flights in before they closed the airport do to the snow. When we got to the car rental desk we found that our reserved 4x4 was not available so we would have to take a mini van for the drive to Keystone. Once we got to the mountains it was hard just seeing the front of the car much less the road. Should have known something was wrong, as we were the only car heading into the mountains on the freeway. My wife decided she might as well sleep, as she couldn't see anything out the car windows anyways. My sister in-law and her husband just kept saying something about dieing. I ended up driving along the center median wall so I could see it out the side window. I finally found one truck going west so I tucked the front end of the car up to the back of the trailer and followed him. We were going about 10 mph (Too Fast) and if he slowed down to fast I would hit the back end of the trailer. Did this about 4 or 5 times. If the truck had gone over the side we would have followd. The entire trip my brother in-law kept begging to get off the road and stop any place, every time we came to an exit we were by it before we could see to get off the road. For some reason the truck actully took the exit we wanted for Keystone. He pulled into a little party store so I followed him into the parking lot. He had decided to spend the night in his cab; I bought him a six-pack and thank him for getting us to Keystone. It took a little more than 5 hours to get from the airport to Keystone. One good thing about the trip the freeway was closed for about 24 hours so Keystone had a very small crowd for the weekend. Had a fantastic ski trip that long weekend.
post #16 of 19
My earliest ski memory is snowplowing down Boston Hill in MA (mid-1960's) directly towards a huge rock as the "instructor" yelled at me to turn. Unfortunately, he hadn't yet instructed me *how* to turn : I recovered nicely and did eventually take up the sport again about 20 years later... self-taught this time. Now this year I have an opportunity to get some free lessons, hopefully they won't try to kill me this time
post #17 of 19
I can remember skiing down the back yard hill at my best friends house. Of course everybody had to show off what they could do, especially in front of his older sister. Here I am making a attempt to execute my first parallel turn, and lets just say the potential was there to score high on style points but the body was'nt.
Of course I must of caught a edge , and ended up edging into the hedges.
post #18 of 19
"Wet em' & wear em". That's what the shop guy told you to do if you wanted a great fit for those leather lace up boots. So I spent a few summer days sitting on the porch with a radio and a book and my feet propped up with the boots "sun drying" while I wore them. In the morning you hosed the boots to saturate them and they "set" to your foot as they dried. Shriveled feet and toes, but feeling quite smug. After a few treatments they were oiled for waterproofing.

Travel alone .... I was the only person that I knew who skiied:

Getting lost. I did not quite have map reading down very well. On a snowy Sunday, I started out to find the Snow Bowl in Milford NJ. First problem was that there were three Milford's in NJ; I found two of them. Second problem was that it was in Milton (not Milford), so much for details when you are seventeen.
When I arrived at two, after a seven am start the place was deserted and I had two hours in my first powder .... three whole inches of it. Sat by the fire in the lodge listening to the "old guys". A wonderful day.

Moms Chicken and Potato Salad would last for three days (then you got sick)! She would pack this for my solo Vermont weekends since I was too shy to eat in public alone. That winter, with my new found map reading skills, I found Killington, Pico, Stratton and Mt. Snow.

Couldn't afford a room at Killington so a room in Rutland had to do. No snow tires & lots of snow, so I hitched a ride up Rt 4 on the snow plow two days in a row. Long walk up the Killington road till someone picked me up.

Later, Billy and Gene (now gone ) chasing after me hollering in faux French ...... "Jean Claude .. wait up!).

Those were (pre military) .... the BEST years of my life and, if they were bad I was too dumb to realize it.. [img]smile.gif[/img]

[ November 22, 2002, 04:29 PM: Message edited by: yuki ]
post #19 of 19
I can remember it well cuz it was only 3 years ago. Didn't strap on a pair of planks til I was 27. It was at Mountain Creek (Vernon Valley) NJ. Took a lesson with a kid 5 years younger than me and a-snowplowin I was!
Most remarkable thing about that day, while riding the chairlift on the learning hill, I watched a teenaged black girl go straight legged down the fall line with her hands covering her eyes. She had to be doing 30 or 40 mph. Everyone was screaming "Fall, Fall!" and instructors tried to take her down, but to no avail. She wiped out 3 people in the lift line and gave 1 guy a concussion. I thought he would literally kill her!
Made a note to self: Don't do that.
Been makin up for lost time ever since, and I've yet to wipe out the lift line!
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