Skiing is a series of building 1 skill upon another, and than being able to blend them appropriately. This layering of skills gives good skiers the ability to ski anywhere at anytime. Alex and I have been working on these foundations for many years, however now he has the strength to accomplish more than ever before.
Last year one of our goals while skiing Beaver Creek, was to successfully navigate the new Stone Creek Chutes. This area just opened during the 06-07 season at the Beav. Unfortunately, we were skiing there one day before it opened. This year, our timing was right.
When starting a lesson with a familiar student, I like to ask, “Where do you want to ski today?” Alex expressed no hesitation, “Stone Creek Chutes”. Ok, I knew his mind was ready, but we needed to brush up on a few skills to successfully ski “‘Double-Black EX” terrain. There is no back-seat driving while coming down between tight trees, and 30-60’ granite cliff bands.
We took a warm up and carved a few turns in Bachelor Gulch. We were laying down twin arcs down the mountain. I wanted to contrast the extremes between Pure Carve and Pure skid. After Run one we headed to the Rose Bowl to catch the sun and work on our pure side slips. This required some work. If the skier’s hands and hips are back, the skier is prone to sliding forward rather than slipping straight down the mountain. The skier lacks the ability to effectively manage turn shape.
We put a focus on balancing and keeping a visual focus straight down the fall line. Once we did this, we worked on quieting Disco Al’s hands and arms. We took the poles away and emphasized movements from the legs with stable arms and torso. That did the trick. We took this move to an easy bump field above the Spruce Saddle restaurant. Slow, then fast. Round turns, then skidded fall line turns.
Skiing Spyder (RoseBowl) we worked on the moves in steeper bumps. Good things were happening. We decided we were ready.
In all we skied 4 runs in the Chutes. 1st Chance, 1/2 Chance, No Chance, and Committed. We have the picts and the video to prove it.
After doing laps in Stone Creek, it was lunch time. A nice salad for me, and a meatball sandwich for my main man Al. We skied Redtail to Grouse Mtn. Amazing place is Grouse. Long long bump runs. Then we dropped into Royal Elk Glade. Both runs were excellent, but by the bottom of Royal Elk our skiing form was deteriorating. We decided to put a rap on the day by going up Larkspur and taking it to Strawberry Park. I gave Al one more exercise to work with tomorrow. The reverse pedal movement. We traversed a bump field, working on this motion. Then we moved it into actual turns.
It was a fabulous few days of teaching, learning, and playing on the mountain. I want to thank the entire family for being so kind. And to Alex for having a passion for skiing. I appreciate you all immeasurably. See you in a few months.
Here is the movie for you to remember. Great slow, no pole carve turns.