Friday, January 04, 2013

1/4/13 Sugarbowl Day 2

OK, we're in the groove now...I think! Once again, a late start, but we got there in time for afternoon group lessons.

To my delight, Katrina got the same teacher as yesterday. This meant no explaining, no cajoling, no over- or under-stating her abilities, no speculation -- a known quantity. As a result, she had another terrific lesson and advanced her experience and confidence tremendously -- if not skills so much!

She's so small compared to her classmates...she had lots of trouble pushing herself to lifts, but once they're moving downhill on the slopes, she's right there with everyone else. (That's her, second in line in her lesson.)

Meantime, Gabriel and I went off to play. We headed for Mt Lincoln, where Gabriel dared me to tackle a mogul-run. He had a lot less trouble with it than I did!
Gabriel on "Vanderbilt" at Sugarbowl:

It was so fun that we came around and did it again, and this time he filmed me. I had a much harder time this time around, but not as bad as another guy, to whom I was oblivious!

Turns out, Julian was tackling his first moguls too, same mountain, different run. This shot I took from the lift (he's at the top, green jacket).

On the way down, Gabriel and I hit our first half-pipe too. That was fun!!

Boy, skiing sure has changed since when I was a kid....moguls, trees, terrain parks, half-pipes...this stuff just wasn't commonplace when I was a kid!

After Julian and Katrina's lesson, I shifted to "watch-kid" mode and we all went on Mt Judah. I really appreciate Sugarbowl for this: an easy lift with several runs and terrain parks, where everyone is happy and I can keep track of all of them. I give the boys instructions, with 95% confidence that Gabriel heard and will follow them, and 10% confidence that Julian did.

Julian had learned about a "gully" in his lesson and wanted to show Gabriel. Poor Julian tries so hard to dominate, lead and be in control, but he had to have Gabriel as an older brother! It just never works. Julian showed Gabriel the off-piste route, but Gabriel had no trouble with it and lost Julian quickly.

But by then, I'd lost Katrina. She's so bent on showing off how fast she is that she doesn't wait! I skiied as fast as I could to the bottom, scanning constantly for her, but must have missed her. She'd fallen after a jump, and arrived a few minutes later crying. So brave, but still such a little girl.

As we were all finishing up, our route took us through the mini-terrain park, where Katrina did her first rainbow box! I missed the shot, but did get Julian following suit.

Now lifts were closing, and our ski day was done.

It's about now I can imagine that "real" grownups can relax, break open beers, climb into hot tubs, tell tall tales about the day...not me. I shift into caddy/waitress mode and struggle mightily to get everyone de-skiied and into the car. Julian creates twice the work of the other two: he doesn't listen, he ambushes them with snow, and when I repeat instructions, he responds unbearably rudely: "I KNOOOOOW MOMMMM!!" -- and then still doesn't take off his ski boots.

I wasn't done yet though: I had to brave the Truckee Safeway again (and I've never seen a more crowded supermarket than this one at this time), and then get everyone home.

After my towing debacle two days ago, I've been parking at the very top of the driveway, and then testing to make sure I could get out....but somehow today, I parked just a little bit too far back. And once again, I could feel the car sliding back. CRAP. I was stuck again, barely 10 feet from the road.

This time, Gabriel was there to watch, and I almost had him take video except it was getting too dark. But he told me it was just the rear wheels that were spinning, and the front ones not moving at all (except when rolling back). That irked me, but I had set that aside and focus on getting my car out. I tried the parking brake trick, I tried popping the car into 2nd gear, but nothing worked to prevent sliding back.

Knowing I had only one or two more tries before it slid back into a snowbank again, I used the rear floormats in front of the rear tires, and wood pieces underneath them, behind them. Somehow, I was able to barely pull the car out, fishtailing and spinning all the way up to the road. Thank goodness!!

Gabriel and I talked about it later. How is it possible that the front wheels weren't moving? He was certain of that. Ok, so there must be something about the traction detection or limited-slip or something that's not working right. Another clue is that when we'd first arrived, I'd pulled in forward and downhill, and was able to back up no problem out of that same driveway. Somehow, whatever wasn't working forward was working in reverse. And then there was that clunk sound I'd heard just before leaving...could that be related? Now I'm paranoid. So maybe this wasn't totally my fault for crummy snow-driving. If that's true, I'm sure in for yet more expensive repairs. Great.

Tomorrow, we're actually arriving early and skiing in the morning!


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