Sunday, March 04, 2012

3/4/2012 Back from Bear Valley

I haven't even finished writing up our Ski Week trip to Sugarbowl, and now I have another ski day to report on! Because of course it's essential I document Every Moment of these experiences. Soon it will get mundane enough I won't bother, but for now, it's still an exciting new thing.

We left for Bear Valley Saturday after lunch, and zipped up to Bear Valley Lodge in time for the kids to get in some snowplay outside.

Bear Valley, Sunday!

I put Julian and Katrina into all-day ski school so Gabriel and I could take a private lesson together and ski the rest of the day together.

I keep hoping all the things I tell the ski schools not to do will stop happening, but they keep happening.

Katrina spent the whole day on the bunny hill -- and the bunniest of the bunny hills, after I'd taken her on a warmup to the 2nd-level bunny hill with Gabriel.

I told the instructors she was done with bunny hills, but once again, she was stuck in a class with other kids who weren't ready for more, though most appeared older.

This is really becoming a problem -- am I really the only one with an intermediate 5-year-old who's ready for blues, and who puts them in lessons?? You see lots of kids her age bombing down black diamonds, but they probably have parents who can actually ski.

Julian spent the morning on blues with a fairly large class, and he seemed to be doing great. He was always leading the class though, this is a first for him.

But in the afternoon, he was the only kid at his level for a lesson, and ended up in Katrina's class -- on the bunniest bunny hill! They had a good day together, but the lost opportunity kills me -- especially being so warmed up from Ski Week two weeks ago, they both could have made exciting advances today.

I'm really glad I decided to go back to Sugarbowl for our March trip, I'm really really tired of Katrina -- and now Julian -- being stuck on the gentlest of green runs all day.

Gabriel and I took our first private lesson together, and this worked pretty well. The instructor spent more time giving me technique tips, since I'm generally more open to them, but we both practiced the exercises and got a lot out of them. We did two groomed black-diamonds with the instructor, harder ones than the intro blacks at Sugarbowl, and then spent much of our day on those runs.

A video of me on the groomed black-diamond "Monte Wolfe" -- not an easy one to stop on to take video, but Gabriel managed. I'm glad I can make it down this sort of run now, but I sure have a long way to go to being a seasoned stylish skiier!

I thought I'd taken video of Gabriel doing this run too, but I had some recording snafu. It was so fun doing this, and similar, runs with Gabriel today. I love sharing the challenge with him, and together, we're both able to handle more and more. I love spending the day together, and though I'm really loving skiing as an activity now, it's 100 times better doing it with him.

I really love Bear Valley, but its old lifts make me really appreciate Sugarbowl. Bear Valley's lifts are fast and tricky to get on (modern lifts slow down for mounting), some are too high for a little kid to reach easily, and some have very steep or short exit ramps. Even Gabriel slid forward once just before the chair arrived, and almost was smashed in the back, except for the quick thinking and action of a young snowboarder who grabbed Gabriel just in time. I couldn't find a good blue run with a lift I felt OK taking Katrina on, and decided not to ski with her after her and Julian's lesson.

But another great ski day -- they all are one way or another -- enough to make up for the mad scramble home, unpacking, getting stuff ready for school and cleaners tomorrow. I sure am looking forward to our March trip to Sugarbowl in 2 weekends!


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