In Too Deep: Learning to Ski Powder

Last year, I missed the best month of snow so I was determined to ski Sundance Ladies Day this February. Day 1, I was not disappointed: 6 inches of deep powder. WOW! I have never skied that much deep powder. But, I am getting ahead of myself.

In my last post, I discussed being OK as a tortoise who has friends who are all hares when it comes to sports. Well, I took another friend, Marreya, to her first time skiing and once again, she conquered the mountain in one try—all the way to the top of the main lift on Day 1. I am so happy for her.

I have spent a lot of time thinking about my tortoise status and talking with my husband and I realized that my friends all have experience in other sports and that translates to success in skiing. Lindsay snowboards, Andrea water skies, Marreya snowboards and ice skated. But me, I am a true couch potato now trying to learn to ski. And when we started counting the hours I have actually skied, it is only about 30 hours total. SOOOOO, I am officially cutting myself some slack and embracing my tortoise status and thanking the instructors at Sundance Ladies Day for getting this TRUE couch potato as far as I have gotten.

This month, I am skiing with Kipper. She has always been the instructor teaching the highest level ladies class. Mary Ann and I are together. Mary Ann has skied since she was 16 but only skies with her kids and is looking to gain confidence and learn skills. Kipper is teaching us this time and giving another instructor a chance with the most advanced skiers. But, even though we are not the most advanced (we are somewhere in the middle), she teaches us with the same intensity she teaches the advanced class—or at least it seems that way.

Kipper is amazing to ski with. She grew up with a dad as the director of the Snowbird Ski School and now he is the Director of Sundance Ski School (Jerry Warren). It is in her blood and she teaches with an intensity that is amazing! Match her intensity with fresh powder conditions (6 inches of deep, ungroomed powder and more coming down) and it was enough to wipe me out for the rest of the day. I literally went home and laid on the couch I was so tired.

The great thing about taking classes from different instructors at Sundance Ladies Day is that each instructor has their own way of talking and their own approach to things. I have been working on the same issue for the several weeks and have seen some improvement. But one issue still baffles me—getting my body position so that my hips are pointing up the mountain and my head and chest are down the mountain in the proper carve position (read my previous posts). Kipper had some ideas to try that seemed to help and thanks to her new approach, I am a bit closer than I was last week. It is a hard skill for me to learn and I am continuing to chip away at it and some day I will get it. Maybe I will finally get a breakthrough this Ladies Day and it will begin to come naturally for me.

Thanks Kipper for an exhausting and wonderful first day! Marreya, I am so glad for you that you are an amazing first time skier. What can I say. You, and all my other friends are hares and can do everything else physical much better than me. I will have to try harder and better and longer. But at this pace, I will have a great group of friends to ski with me by the time we are all ready to go!

Now that I have rested, I am ready to go again! There are 30 inches of new snow waiting for waiting for Kipper, Mary Ann and me for our Three Hour Tour! Thank goodness we don’t have Ginger, the Professor and Mr. and Mrs. Thurstan Howell III skiing with us.  I feel like Gilligan!