Thursday, March 08, 2007

Winter Break yields subzero temps and fun-filled days of skiing

This past weekend, S and I ventured up to Conway, New Hampshire with his parents for a little winter adventure in subzero temps. We ambitiously planned to cross-country ski, snowshoe and downhill skiing. I have never skiied downhill and was a little apprehensive. In my mind's eye, I could see myself tumbling end over end, hitting a tree and coming down the mountain in a stretcher. So when S's parents suggested that we take a group lesson, I was not really excited about it but decided that I would be a good sport and at least try it for a bit. S, an expert skier, headed off to ski the afternoon away while we took our lesson. We suited up in our gear and met our instructor who was as old as the hills but is quite graceful. After going through the standard instructions on stopping, turning, getting up when you've fallen and clipping in and out of the skis, we hopped on the chair lift and headed to the learning trails. I was quite terrified as was S's mom but I managed to survive my way down the trail without falling down or over. I had a lot of difficulty turning and stopping but luckily I wasn't going very fast. I went down a few more trails and we called it a day. S's Dad did great and his mom did pretty well considering that she was terrified. We made plans to come back the next day and try it again. Unfortunately the weather didn't want to cooperate. THe winds were gusty and severe and the temp didn't get above 3degrees. So we made it a lazy day and decided to go the next day. We woke up to temp of -14 degrees. Eck! However, the forecast said that there would be little wind and a high in the teens so we decided to go again and wear essentially everything that we owned! We got to the slopes mid-day and signed up for yet another lesson. Because it was such a cold day, not many hopeful skiers turned out and there were more instructors than students so everyone got their own instructor. It was awesome. I started out once again on the learning trails and my instructor helped me refine my form and especially my "turns". After an hour, we took the BIG chair lift up the mountain to the novice trails. I was very nervous but also excited. As we made our way down the mountain, I experienced some difficulty stopping so my instructor worked with me until I got it down before we proceeded further down the steeper sections. Finally we made it to the steep section and I followed him for a while zig-zagging my way down. It was so much fun. I then went up the mountain again a couple of times practicing my skills. By the end of the day, I was flying down the trail and zig-zagging perfectly and able to stop on a dime. I am now officially addicted to skiing. Hopefully we can go again this weekend. ;-)