Taking My Kids Skiing (and a Word About Snowboarders!)
Jolayne already beat me to the punch on reporting our trip, so this'll just have to be my version. After many years of idealizing in my mind what it would be like, I finally took Amy and Misha skiing at Copper Mountain last week. Short summary of the trip: reality doesn't always match the idyllic view in the mind's eye! Though we had a great time and came home without any injuries, my visions of tooling down the hill with my girls came off just a little differently. As Jolayne said, it was ridiculously cold. It was below zero at home before we even left, and the predicted high temp on the mountain was something like 15 degrees. We caravaned up the mountain (a 2-3 hour trip most of the time in winter) with friends, but after a trip home to pick up forgotten items and a clogged/frozen windshield washer sprayer (and stop to fix), we finally got into the mountains. Traffic up the freeway was terrible. Apparently people think it's well worth a 30-minute wait to watch and stare at a BMW that had slid off the road; that was the only reason we could see for the delay. We didn't actually get up to Copper until close to 10am, 3 1/2 hours after starting. Add another 45 min to get suited up, ride the bus to the base area, ride another bus to another base area due to miscommunication, and rent skis. By the time we got to the teeny beginning area (about 25 yards square), there were more people than snow, and it was hard to go anywhere. We determined it was a good idea to ride one of the easy-but-longer lifts up the hill a bit to get away from the masses. My friend Chris sweet talked the lift operator into allowing Jolayne to ride up the lift without a pass or skis so that she could help our kids on the trip back down. The girls were a little scared about riding the lift, but they both managed without any issues. It was cold! By the time we got off, they were both running low on gas. Misha got off the lift without falling at all, something I wasn't able to do myself for a long time.
We had a nice wide, long run for them to get used to the skis, and they both did a fine job. We worked on snowplowing and general control. I wouldn't say they're ready for the giant slalom just yet, but I'm very proud of how they did. They both got the hang of it, but I heard, "Dad, next time you HAVE to get me poles!" more times than I care to admit. Apparently, had I included poles in the rentals, they would have been flying down the hill, or so they think. (In my opinion, I would have been walking back up the hill to pick up dropped poles!)
By the time we got to the bottom, they were absolutely out of gas. By not giving them a big breakfast, and then not filling them with energy bars and sugar prior to getting on the hill, I made a big mistake. My girls' metabolisms take after their mother's; if they don't stay ahead of their bodies' needs, they crash pretty hard. I can generally go as long as I need and be fine, but they need regular snacks. Next time we do this power bars for everyone before we leave the car! (Like they'll actually eat them!)
After that single run, they were done. And thus the $35 run for each of them. :-) We took the bus over to the main base area for our free Scout chili lunch, and the kids welcomed the food and warmth. I took off for about an hour to go up on the hill and get a run or two in before another lovely drive of 2-3 hours. Thanks to Jo for so kindly watching the kids. But...
My friends and I got up the first lift quickly and made our way over to the six-person speed chair that we love. When we got to the top, I was freezing! It was soooo cold up there. Not long after getting off the lift, I saw a snowboarder coming up in my periphery. I started to turn and figured he would to. Wrong! You see, I have a strong opinion about most snowboarders, especially the young male type (here's where I'll offend a bunch of you). Saturday's experience just reinforces my idea that:
- They most often run down the hill with minimal or no control whatsoever. But that's OK because they're being cool.
- They always take their breaks smack in the middle of wherever people are trying to move. Either in the middle of run or right in front of the ski lift.
- They think it's great to scrape all the snow off the hill and leave ice for their skiing friends!
By the time I got back, we needed to go, but the kids were warm and had full tummies and would have done some more had we had time. I guess we'll try again next year. Perhaps we'll try a day on the little hill behind our house before we pony up for lift tickets and a long drive again!
It was a fun time and I'm glad that they enjoyed themselves and have a desire to try it again. I miss the former days in Utah where we could be on the hill 40 min after leaving home. Not quite the same here, and the drive down I-70 is not exactly relaxing. Something about mountain driving seems to bring out the worst in people, especially those with BYU bumper stickers! I'm beginning to think that those snowboarders drive the same way they board! But that's another