My birthday ski lessons at Sunrise!

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azbackpackr
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My birthday ski lessons at Sunrise!

Post by azbackpackr » Mar 27 2010 4:21 am

My birthday was on Tuesday, so I decided to treat myself, as I often do on my birthday, to a new adventure. On my 50th birthday, for example, I went river rafting for the very first time. Well, this was my 57th birthday, and I have been saying for some time that if I don't learn to downhill ski pretty soon it may be too late! I had never tried it before, although I have cross country skied quite a bit over the past 9 winters.

I went on Wed. since the weather had improved. I bought the whole day package because it included two lessons, instead of only one.

I couldn't believe the weight of the equipment compared to cross country skis and boots! I put it all on and made my way over to the base of the bunny hill. The instructor was a man named Mike, a former special forces person. Nice guy, quite patient. I managed to sort of learn what he was trying to teach me--there was one other student, a woman in her late 30's from North Carolina. However, we didn't realize until we went up the big lift how little I had caught on to doing a right turn. When I saw how steep it was, I just about crapped my high tech North Face bib overall pants! I could pull off the left turn ok, but not the right. A couple of times I got completely out of control and went flying down the slope! I was glad then that I had cross country skied before, because it came in handy as I was flying off to a trail that went to the side. I was lucky the trail was there! (At least, I didn't do a "Bono!") I don't think the teacher was too pleased with me at that point. I kept saying, "This is not like cross country skiing at all!" It isn't, as far as the turns are concerned anyway. My experience in having the long boards attached to my feet did help a little, though.

I managed to catch on to the right turn by the time we were almost to the bottom of the green run. So then, I went to lunch and afterward went straight to my second lesson. A woman teacher this time, named Renee. She was really nice. She had a totally different teaching style and was able to see where I was messing up on the turns. We practiced sideslipping and turns on the bunny hill. I was scared all over again, though, when we went up the big lift. Even though there were few people there that day, it would only take one snowboarder to kill you. We practiced side slipping down the steepest of those runs--they are the green runs but they do have some short steep parts. I FINALLY got the right turn down quite a bit better.

When the lesson was over it was 2 p.m., and I had two hours left on my lift ticket. But I was afraid to go way up there without the instructor. So I went up the bunny lift, over and over again, for about an hour or so, and practiced my turns, trying for the parallel turn.

Unfortunately, I got started with this at the end of the season. Tomorrow Sunrise is closing.

Sometime, I plan to get myself a pair of mountaineering skis, such as the Fischer Outtabounds. They are short, wide cross country skis that are made for turning. Heftier boots and cable bindings that give you the option of clamping the heel down or not, depending upon what you are doing. You can ski both Pole Knoll and Sunrise with them.

So this is my plan: learn to downhill well, and then translate the skills to ski mountaineering. I doubt I can ever get used to crowds, but in order to learn the skills I would be willing to buy a season pass and spend at least one winter going to Sunrise to improve, get a few more lessons. Not sure if we will spend the winter up here next year or not, though.
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Tortoise_Hiker
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Re: My birthday ski lessons at Sunrise!

Post by Tortoise_Hiker » Mar 27 2010 4:35 am

: app :
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azbackpackr
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Re: My birthday ski lessons at Sunrise!

Post by azbackpackr » Mar 27 2010 5:36 am

:GB:
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.

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big_load
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Re: My birthday ski lessons at Sunrise!

Post by big_load » Mar 27 2010 10:58 am

That sounds fun, although my knee aches at the thought of it.

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azbackpackr
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Re: My birthday ski lessons at Sunrise!

Post by azbackpackr » Mar 27 2010 11:17 am

I am glad that I didn't experience any knee issues. I do have minor knee aches from time to time, especially the left one.
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.

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Re: My birthday ski lessons at Sunrise!

Post by fotogirl53 » Mar 27 2010 4:14 pm

Congratulations! You and I both celebrate the big ones with style (I went to Hawaii for my 50th--by myself!). I haven't figured out what to do for 60. Anyway, I've been a downhill skier my whole life, raised in Idaho with real winters. Maybe next winter we can get together and I'll give you lessons for free. Happy Birthday : app :
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Re: My birthday ski lessons at Sunrise!

Post by cathymocha » Mar 27 2010 4:26 pm

Happy Birthday and congratulations! :D

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azbackpackr
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Re: My birthday ski lessons at Sunrise!

Post by azbackpackr » Mar 27 2010 5:15 pm

Hey thanks both of you! Yup, wouldn't mind going skiing with someone who knows how!

Funny you mention it fotogirl, you have been skiing your whole life, but visited Hawaii. On the other hand, I just tried skiing for the first time, but lived in Hawaii for 8 years! :)
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
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Re: My birthday ski lessons at Sunrise!

Post by imike » Mar 27 2010 5:28 pm

Happy B'Day!!! I admire your efforts at the downhill stuff... I just do not like the crowds, nor the speed... I'm stuck with the snowshoes and the easy cross country skiing.
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azbackpackr
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Re: My birthday ski lessons at Sunrise!

Post by azbackpackr » Mar 27 2010 5:30 pm

Boy oh boy I did think it could get scary. I wanted to learn those turns so I can get the shorter wider xc skis someday. I really did not like all the zooming snowboarders everywhere.
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
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Re: My birthday ski lessons at Sunrise!

Post by fotogirl53 » Mar 27 2010 10:40 pm

I, too, am afraid of the speedfreaks (snowboarders and skiers)! Up at Snowbowl there are Courtesy patrollers who will take the ticket of anyone who is unsafe and endangering others--especially on the beginner runs.
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azbackpackr
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Re: My birthday ski lessons at Sunrise!

Post by azbackpackr » Mar 28 2010 4:42 am

They might have them at Sunrise, too. I really didn't notice. I was too busy concentrating on learning!
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.

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Re: My birthday ski lessons at Sunrise!

Post by Dschur » Mar 29 2010 2:40 pm

At Snowbowl you can ski for free on your birthday (or at least they used to do that).. Did you ask at Sunrise???
SPECIALS SNOWBOWL
Ski FREE on your birthday! Present valid identification at the Guest Services Desk in the Hart Prairie Lodge for your complimentary lift ticket.
Dawn
--On the loose to climb a mountain, on the loose where I am free. On the loose to live my life the way I think my life should be...For we only have a moment and a whole world yet to see...I'll be looking for tomorrow on the loose. ---unknown--

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azbackpackr
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Re: My birthday ski lessons at Sunrise!

Post by azbackpackr » Mar 29 2010 5:48 pm

I heard about that, I don't think they have it at Sunrise. Besides, none of that applies if you are buying the lessons package--I went on "locals" day and they wouldn't give me a discount. It is only for the lift ticket.

Not sure I will go back next year. I have since had several nightmares about the other skiers, and snowboarders zooming at me, etc. And generally, I don't like crowds. (You will never catch me going to the Renaissance Fair!) I wanted to learn the turns which are applicable to the shorter skis, and did get a good start at that.
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.

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