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Women's Clinics are Awesome!

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I just started a clinic for women today. It's a Monday morning group that meets for breakfast and then has a group ski lesson for an hour and then we go practice for as long as we wish.

I think having to be somewhere regularly to ski in all kinds of weather can do nothing but help gain skills. I know I avoid those 'less than perfect' days as I get older (rainy days in my 'youth' were nothing but good) and it's good to be out there when I'd rather not be.

Today was no exception! There was a glaze on everything this morning as we had freezing rain come down overnight. The hill was not groomed after this except for one track down each trail on the edge. I skied on it for about 100 feet and while you could sort of edge on it, it was nasty. Even the instructors wanted to go in. Can you say short radius turns all day? I knew you could.

I was immediately put in the wrong group of 2 groups. There were 11 of us:

*5 intermediates that could parallel ski slowly down a blue trail but not with any confidence
*4 beginners who could get down a blue run slowly but are still using wedge turns and lifting their skis off the ground
*1 absolutely new beginner who had never been on skis
*and me

I was put in the class with the 4 beginners and the never-ever. Boooooooooring! Once we got off the lift, the instructor realized that a)she would have to stay with the Noob until she could get her back down to the magic carpet area; and b) I was in the wrong group. She called for backup and gave us drills to practice on the way down and put me in charge.

I took the other 4 down the hill and back up to meet the instructor and the N/E, who had only gone about 40 feet down the green trail by then. Not wanting to be leading a group (I was here to Learn, not teach), I was moved to the other group and found that I was still skiing beneath my level, but at least I was getting some coaching.

I worked on balance today, and making nice turns on ice. I spent 3 hours doing that before I had to leave for a doctor's appointment.

I found it odd that as soon as the lessons were over, most of the women wanted to go in because they were 'cold'. I don't get this. It was 31 degrees. It was nice out! I was toasty (compared to yesterday's gale force winds and 16 degrees for a high).

Most of them had no helmets or goggles but had stocking caps or knitted scarves around their necks. Half of them appeared anorexic (I'm not kidding), and the other half were on the thin side. I'm absolutely gargantuan, so maybe that's why I don't feel the cold.

However, the best part is meeting other women who are getting excited about skiing, and finding someone to ski with while everyone works. I traded phone numbers with a former ski patroller who's just getting back into skiing again after years of not being out there.

I'd recommend joining a group, or even creating one, to advance your skills, meet new people and have some FUN.
post #2 of 13
Quote:
I'd recommend joining a group, or even creating one, to advance your skills, meet new people and have some FUN.
Yah baby.

RW
post #3 of 13
[quote=Bonni;1031443] I think having to be somewhere regularly to ski in all kinds of weather can do nothing but help gain skills. I know I avoid those 'less than perfect' days as I get older (rainy days in my 'youth' were nothing but good) and it's good to be out there when I'd rather not be.

/quote]


Thats the way. Great point to that statement. What you "learn" is how to deal with stuff. Now when you go away to that far off resort and have paid for it and the weather/conditions are not perfect you can still go out and do something in it. A lot of people will just sit in the lodge or room and whine about it, but if the lifts are turning you are playing. Granted eastern conditions right now are not great like they were 2 weeks ago , but it is still better than working.Nice report.
post #4 of 13
It sounds like offering some solid advice about preparing oneself for the mountain environment is in order.

Goggles, good hats or helmets ,decent gloves and proper layering make it the same as any other day not on the hill.

This stuff is second nature to you but apparently not to many of them . Bummer for them .

I can tell this has lifted your spirit and it's damn good to hear. Carry on Mrs B
post #5 of 13
Hey, Bonni, one of the best ways to learn things is to try to formulate in your head ways of teaching them to others.

And the shine in someone smile when they've learned something from you is far brighter than even the best toilet cleaning performance.

Maybe you should start attending some of SkierJ's training sessions.
post #6 of 13
sounds like fun. what mountain is this at?
post #7 of 13
I believe it is a nolo - ism:

"Its whats on the menu for today"
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
It's at Bousquet, our little Mom and Pop home hill. It's not much, but it's ours, and it's the cheapest place in the country at the moment: $25 weekday lift passes and $15 Thursday nights.....something like that.

I tried to convince a few of the colder women to get goggles and helmets.

I extolled the virtures of helmets: they're warm, they keep your head dry when it rains or snows, they will let your brains stay in your skull when you get slammed from behind by an out of control snowrider or if you fall on this Eastern Hardpack, it's a good place to keep your goggles when you're taking a break, you can decorate them with stickers.

Goggles help you see terrain features more clearly with the right tint, your eyes don't keep tearing up when it's windy or cold, your face stays warmer, and they won't fly off like sunglasses if you biff it.

Not one of these women thought either thing was a good idea. WTF? Actually, one of the instructors said it was a matter of preference on the helmet, but the goggles were a must. Obviously, she's never fallen and cracked her head on the tabletop hardness that we ski on.

Advising a level 4 and under skier that they don't need a helmet really is stupid. She cited expense. Helmets aren't that spendy compared to one days lift pass. Someone's tagline read "Got a $5 head? Buy a $5 helmet". Or a stocking cap.

I know what you mean, Kneale. When I had the girls for one run, we stopped several times and I dispensed advice. One kept crossing her tails and wanted to know why. I watched her ski: she was picking up her inside foot. I told her to keep her skis on the ground and why. She told me that her husband actually told her to pick up a foot in order to turn!!

When we regrouped, the instructor told her.........the same thing I told her. I learned one thing today. I'm a better skier and teacher than I thought.
post #9 of 13
well thanks! that made me look, and sure enough my local hill has a woman's clinic that starts this wednesday. hopefully this beat up old body will be ready to ski on wednesday.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
All right, Swamp Dog! This thread has accomplished more than I expected!

Have fun out there, make friends and share your report here when you're done smiling on Wednesday.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hero snow and a bluebird day again today! Untracked trails all day...until I quit at 2:30!

We worked on the inside ski today. It was fun, and the snow was perfect so we could really concentrate on doing good turns.

After class, a group of 5 of us stayed out to play. While I only spent 4 hours on skis, it was enough. After that, I vacuumed the patrol shack and came home for lunch.

The body is fairly healed, the spirit is willing, and progress is being made even with the headache at full bore.

Life is Good, regardless.
post #12 of 13
Hooooraaaaayyyyyyyyy!!!!!!
post #13 of 13
Bonni - How awesome!! Sounds great for you and great for the others to have you there! I'm with you on helmets -- hope no one lands on their head before they decide it's a good idea! Hopefully, all of those women will stick to it and exposure/wanting to do better will lead them to be better informed, better equipped, etc.
Having the chance to teach/explain sounds like a real test too -- but really good for your own experience (I can't see myself trying that at this point).
I agree with you, women's clinics are always great on some level. The comaraderie between the women is great and the learning environment is more tailored to women. In one clinic I was in, one of the best things was how close the women in our group became! We keep in touch, try to get schedules fixed to be able to ski together, support each other in general----women's clinics are great!!
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