Ski the Pow and the Clouds

20150113_092416 Last night, it snowed 23 inches at Sundance!  Look at the amazing view as we drove up the Sundance road.  It’s a winter wonderland. My 13 year old was so jealous that I was going skiing.

Unlike our typical Tuesdays where we have the mountain to ourselves, we had to share it with a lot of people suffering Powder Flu.  But, even with the extra people, we had a wonderful (but tough) time on the mountain.  Skiing powder is not a skill any of us have mastered and it is intimidating and tough when you are not used to it.  And by the time we got there, all the runs had been chopped up by the Powder Hounds who were lined up at 9am to get on the lift.

So, what we thought was going to be a day of fun in the snow turned into a day of pushing ourselves to learn some new skills.  But with Kipper as our guide, we embraced the challenge.  Ladies shuffled around a bit in the classes to the levels they felt comfortable with (or uncomfortable with as my friend Laura found out when she moved up to our class).  That’s not uncommon.  Sundance Ladies Day is focused on getting each woman in the right group and learning something that stretches her.  We were ALL stretched today by the conditions and the concepts.  But that is what it’s all about, right?

PowCloudsLet me say that skiing the choppy stuff is not my favorite–especially when you are skiing in fog and can’t see where you are going (and you hit a mogul made by someone when you think you are on a groomed run).  But today, we focused on being less stiff in our legs and allowing our lower body to go with the terrain and be light on our feet.  Easier said than done when you are terrified you will run into someone since you can’t see them in front of you.  But, Kipper made us feel at ease and gave us fabulous instructions on what to do.

So, even Laura who had not skied the Back Mountain EVER was able to get it.  Of course there was a lot of falling today, but the powder makes it so much easier when you do fall. On one run, Andrea fell 3 times in less than 3 minutes.  We just laughed and enjoyed ourselves (I should have gotten a picture but I was trying not to fall myself).

20150113_100253My Newbie Friends Chandani and Shannon had a great day falling too. That’s all a part of learning but is much easier when you fall on powder instead of packed snow.  Shannon has decided that she doesn’t hate me for bringing her and looks forward to our next two classes (last week, she was unsure if she wanted to be my friend anymore).  Chandani was so excited that she wanted to stay and ski longer.  Sadly, our kids had to get back to school so Shannon and I had to decline the offer.  Being 20 years older than Chandani also probably had something to do with it but I won’t tell her that if you don’t.  My legs are sore and I was glad that class ended when it did.

One of the best kept secrets at Sundance is that their instructors are led by Jerry Warren, an amazing ski instructor who literally wrote the book on how to ski.  Today, I got my own copy of the Home Base Ski Program he designed (and the one that all instructors at Sundance use).  It is simple and focused and gets you from where you are to where you want to be in skiing quickly.  Thanks Jerry for the manual and the one-on-one tips today.  It is a bonus to have you on the mountain checking to see that we are having fun while learning and pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone.  My C Shape improved based on your tips!  And thanks Kipper for the Bearclaw pin!  Feels good to earn it!

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