Murray is a self-confessed ski bum. Has skied since he was a teen, taught skiing for a number of years at Whistler, worked in Edmonton’s ski industry for 20 some years. I, on the other hand, do not ski. Until this year!
I got tired of being a backcountry widow and have decided that I want to go with Mur into the wild. One problem, I have to learn how to ski. Then I have to been brave enough to go out into the backcountry. Wait a minute, didn’t the trek on the West Coast Trail abolish all fear of the unknown?
I have been going to Snow Valley every week to ski with Murray, who is teaching me the fine art of pointing my hips down the hill while turning my legs and feet across the hill. Oh, and also keeping my shoulders also pointed down the hill! And “tipping” my knees into the hill to carve the ski into the hill. So many things to think about. Tough to learn a new sport in my mid fifties.
We ski today and Murray says I am doing pretty good. I think I can tell when my knees are pointing in the right direction as the skis grabs more. It feels good to be making progress. Today we skied down the steepest hill at Snow Valley and it wasn’t so bad. I kept it under control and didn’t allow my form to fall apart too much. Next week, we will introduce poling.
We have been talking about going to the mountains to resort ski so the runs are a tad bit longer. This is the next step and it will help improve my skiing as what I need now is mileage. We just have to pick a week and head out for a few days. Hopefully when it is warmer, not a balmy -25 C. Murray even said today that once I get the poles going, we could go into the backcountry! What??
Yesterday, I purchased a cool helmet and goggles from Sundance Ski Shop. J helped me and is super knowledgeable about the gear. After trying on a host of them, I got a Smith Sequel Matte Black helmet.
It took abit of trying to find goggles that fit my tiny face, but J persisted and we found a pair. I didn’t want dark lens because I like it bright. Luckily I discovered this riding on cloudy days – I wear sunglasses with an orangey lens rather than a dark lens. I also wanted to be able to wear the goggles with or without my glasses, so that eliminated quite a few. Pretty cool looking!
Last year I had rented skis, boots and poles a few times from Sundance, so this year before I started to ski in earnest, I purchased my own gear. Alex, one of the owners of the shop, fit me with boots and was patient, all knowing and amazing. I put my faith in her and they fit perfectly! Then it was easy to pick out skis and poles. Here is what I got…..
So I am outfitted with brand new gear, but I am wearing a hand me down jacket from Snow Valley and an old pair of ski pants from Alex’s personal stock. Next year I will spend the big bucks and buy a nice jacket and pants.
I am on my way to learning and participating in a new sport. And I have all the gear! Alpine skiing is now something that I do! Watch out!