Friday, December 20, 2013

Learning to Ski

Last year we were a cross-country-ski family. We went once. Well, we went once as a family to Canmore (the time Katie's hair started on fire) and then Scott and I went one more time out to Shaganappi Point. Cross-country skiing seemed more attractive because you don't have to pay the high cost of lift tickets. Our kids didn't know that alpine skiing existed. Scott's favourite part was going down the hill, but he always had to climb it first. He had no idea that there was another way to get up that hill... until now.

We decided to go to visit the Kalispell cousins over the Christmas break. They are an alpine-ski family and they have seasons passes to Whitefish. I figured that we could find a cool spot to rent on the ski hill and make a real event of it. But it seemed that we should get our kids started on skiing before the trip so that they could keep up with their cousin counterparts. So we went to Canada Olympic Park for some training one evening after school.

The hill is only 10 minutes from our house and visible from Scott's bedroom window, so it's very convenient. It has cheap rentals and a really nice beginner area with 3 different conveyor-belt lifts that take new skiers up gradually longer slopes. I signed up Scott for a 90-minute beginner lesson while I worked with Katie. Basically, I pointed Katie down the hill and then backed up a few steps and had her ski into me. She crashed into me, actually. She loved that part, and she giggled every time.

After 40 minutes or so, Katie decided she needed a break. She was talking about going home. Instead, I offered to take her into the nearby lodge for a snack. We ate some fries and drank some ice water and then she was ready to get back on the slopes. From there, she was ready to ski for another hour or more.

A successful introduction to downhill skiing... and bobsleigh?

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