Monday, February 20, 2012

Will on a board

This winter, I've asked Will to really, truly, give snowboarding a try.  In years past, we would only have one day per year on the mountain.  He would take a lesson (sometimes) and generally be frustrated by his lack of progress.  Understandable.  So this year, I've asked Will to really give it a chance.  I bought a 4-pack of lessons and have a handful of lift tickets.  We went at Christmas (lesson) and he was placed in the next level up from "clueless" (which was the group I was in).  His instructor said he was ready to move up another level by the end of the day.  Two weeks ago we went with a group of people and he got tips from my friend who boards.  My friend said that Will looked pretty good, he just needed practice to get confidence.

I have 2 Copper pre-paid tickets and 2 more lessons at Winter Park.  Lucky for Will, that means another 4 chances at boarding.  Saturday was looking like a beautiful day, so I kind of twisted his arm and we headed up to Copper.

I felt that, if we got him on some blues that weren't too long, he could get some speed and really have a chance to figure things out. The area off the Timberline Lift was perfect for that.  Nice blues, long enough to practice on, but not so long that you get totally tired at the end and die.

How could you not LOVE skiing with views like this?!?!
We started the day in West Village, took the Union Creek lift up and did a warm-up on a green run.  He was all sorts of fail on that green run.  It really made me nervous for the rest of the day.  I also felt really bad for him, he was struggling and I don't have the slighest idea on how to help.  On the lift back up, I asked him to think back to his lesson in December, to focus on the steps and to not get overwhelmed.  We took a green run that connects over to Timberline.  He looked better, but not great.  I asked Will if he wanted to try a blue or stick with greens.  He said blue.  So we went down Copperfield, which as I remembered from my powder day last month, had potential to be fun.  Suprisingly, Will did much better.  There were still a few wrecks, but he was a bit more relaxed and was turning.  I managed to find a bunch of tree trails and jumps, so I'd go off and play for a bit, and pop out every once in a while to make sure Will was ok.  We did this run another couple of times and realized it was noon.  Time for lunch!  Rather than heading back down to the base, we ate at the cute little grill next to the lift (mid-mountain).  I really love this place, especially when its sunny.  Today it was SUPER sunny and temps were in the mid-30's.  Perfect for eating outside on the deck, soaking up sunshine.  Eating outside on a sunny ski day is about one of my favorite things to do in life.

its documented - he was smiling while on the hill!  (during lunch....)
After lunch, we headed back up the lift and did a different run which had a steeper pitch at the start of the run.  That went really well - he was getting the hang of turning on both edges and was a bit more relaxed.  He also skidded down the steep pitch because it was scary, which meant that we had to do it again.    That time wasn't so good, as Will twisted his knee somehow.  And he was getting tired.  We agreed that this was the last run (besides the one to get to the base).  Will was nice enough to hang out on the deck by the lift while I did a couple of quick bomber runs.  I felt the need for speed!

And I almost manage to jack up my left knee on the first speedy run.  Flying over an unfamiliar hill (which small semi-moguls and crud) may not have been the smartest decision.  Fortunately, the knee is completely ok today.

After two bomber runs (I was so fast, Will thought I had only done one!) we took the green run down to the base.  The cool part was that the green run was the VERY same green run we did at the start of the day.  And Will managed to go down it without wrecking.  Woot!

We wrapped up at 2:30, headed back to Denver by 3.  Traffic is usually very crappy on the way back in, but suprisingly, we made it back home in 1.5 hrs.  Cool.

Will wasn't "I LOVE SNOWBOARDING" this day.  But I was really happy to see improvement and progression.  Next time, we'll hit WP so he can get a lesson.  He needs an intermediate lesson so he can figure out how to be comfortable going faster and when doing steeper stuff.

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