Back to the slopes after 30 years, and when I did ski (badly) it was telemark and I was never better than a bad blue.
Took my 14 year-old athletically-talented son and my 10 year-old athletically-challenged son (who also has sensory and auditory integration issues) to Sugarbush for the long weekend.
Did the First Timer to Life Timer package, $230 per person for three days of lessons. Once you're signed off, you get an All Mountain season pass for the remainder of the year. That is a massive incentive.....Jack did riding, I did skiing. My little guy did their SugarBears skiing program.
My instructors took my scaredy-cat 51 year-old self from a level one to a level 6 skier in three days. There was only one other person for the first two days of my lessons, and on the third day, I had one-on-one. By the end of day three, I could do an easy green in short radius turns using pole plants and I can do a sweet hockey stop. Like, I can ski. I can drive the ski, I'm parallel, I can do the weight shift, I can control my speed and direction without panic, I can read a line to suit my ability, and use the terrain as a tool. YaHOO! The beginner slope has a section that got really icy from the people ripping over to the next trail, then there was some gorgeous new powder. My instructors even taught me how to manage the snow change to not get bumped out of the powder or skid out on the ice.
Best beginner tips from the ski instructors:
1. Boots! If you can move your ankle laterally without touching the side of the boot, you're making your ankle work too hard to
be responsive. Cranking mine down made a big difference.
2. Make your jacket zipper face the line you're skiing. Helps keep your upper body still.
3. Goggles for flat light, so you can SEE what you ski.
4. How to get up for ladies of a certain age, or anyone with not much upper body strength. No, we CAN'T
do the push-up-on-the-ski-pole thing. Flat on your belly, tips splayed, get on your knees, then push up from there.
(just knowing I could get up by myself made me relax).
5. And the snarkiest, but funny and helpful....."This isn't a Catholic mountain. Put some room between your knees."
(Said in jest, after we had both joked about being victims of a Catholic education....)
6. Well-fitted helmets. Said to the nice kid with me the first day..."Okay, first run over to that tree and smack it with your head. No? You don't want to do that? Then put your helmet on properly."
Took the 14 year-old (who can ride a Rip-Stick, I guess this was key...) from a level 1 to a level 7. After the first day they had him on the trickier blues and by the end of the third, he was on short blacks and on the intermediate features. First day of lessons he had TWO instructors to himself, was one-on-one for the second day, and only one other girl in his third day.
The SugarBear instructors took the little one from totally overwhelmed to a level 4. He does stem christies on the greens and isn't afraid of an easier blue if it's not crowded.
What was so impressive was their ability to adapt their teaching style to the learner. Three very different learners. And they turned us all into people who want to get on slippery things and slide down a mountain.
Now we just need mileage. And I can't wait to go back for the carving lessons.
A great experience, and I wanted to share.
For those who know SB, Jack was on HotShot, Waterfall and Jester.
Ryan was on Slowpoke, Pushover and whatever they call the bunny-hill, then did lower HotShot
with his brother.
And the instructors are freakish about safety. They don't take you anywhere you're not skilled enough to handle, and they NEVER leave you alone.
Awesome. If you ever wanted to do this, and had any fear....just do it. Marvelous.
Cheers to all.