Murray is an avid alpine skier. Always has been, always will be. He goes backcountry skiing in the mountains and loves it. He comes home from these ski adventures smiling, pumped and with incredible pictures. I have decided that I do not want to get left behind like so many other wives. One problem – I do not ski! Until today!
We talk alot about what it would take for me to get into the backcountry and the first step is to try to ski on one of our local hills. We make a date.
I am lucky in that I work part time for Sundance Ski and Snowboard Shop as their accountant.
First I talk to Jim and Alexandra, the owners of Sundance, about rental gear. Alex agrees to lend me a pair of ski pants since I do not have any. Jim says that they will set me up with skis, boots and poles. Mike, one of the sales staff, fits me with boots. Mike is great, very patient and particular with the fit of the boot. We fill in the paperwork and we are done. Painless. The staff at Sundance is very knowledgeable and it’s obvious that they all love the art of skiing and snowboarding.
Murray works part time at Snow Valley, in Edmonton’s river valley, teaching skiing to the school kids that come to the hill during the weekdays.
I arrive at Snow Valley as the kids are piling into the yellow buses to go back to school. The hill is rapidly getting quiet. I find Murray, we don our gear, with me asking numerous questions about socks and long underwear and lift tickets. We head out onto the hill.
Now, I must tell you that I do cross country ski and I can snow plow down hills on nordic skis with no edges. So I figure I can master the snow plow on alpine skis very quickly. Murray just assumes I can do this and we head up the chair lift right away. I find out that it is definitely easier to snow plow on alpine skis than on nordic skis.
Murray gets me working on keeping my shoulders facing down the hill and turning my lower body as my torso remains calm (Murray’s words!). I get that hang of that, so he adds relaxing my inside leg as I come around the corners and let my skis go into parallel. Too much info and things start to fall apart! I do have a couple of great turns were my skis run parallel and my shoulders are doing what they are supposed to.
It was a great afternoon and I had fun. Snow Valley is definitely the place to go in Edmonton to learn how to ski. This snow there is excellent. Everyone there, from the front counter staff to the instructors to the lift operators are happy, chatty folks.
If you are looking for a ski shop and a ski hill in Edmonton, go to Sundance Ski and Snowboard Shop for gear and to Snow Valley to hit the slopes!