Thursday, February 21, 2013

2/21/13 Ski Week day 1: Steamers Day!

We're back in Truckee!!

The kids have this week off, technically called "Recess" but everyone knows it's "Ski Week" -- including the ski resorts who jack the prices up to "holiday" rates.

Though I'm in a serious dearth of time-off of work, and in major crunches for numerous projects, I just couldn't pass up this opportunity to take the kids skiing without "sacrificing" school. (IMO missing a Friday afternoon is hardly a sacrifice but I sure get a lot of sh*t for it!). And anyone who knows me at all knows that I've always prioritized personal life over work -- including some former bosses! In the end, your health and your family matter far more than making that 6pm meeting.

So the kids and I arrived in Truckee super-late last night. I've learned that when we have a late arrival, not to push it in the morning, so this morning we hung out. Katrina went out to play in the snow while her brothers putzed around, but after a late breakfast we got to Sugarbowl for a half-day skiing, including an afternoon lesson for Katrina.

Katrina gets a ton out of lessons, but I also need her to take them because she really is just 6 and can't truly can't keep up with me and her brothers -- yet. I was thrilled that she had the same instructor that she's had twice before -- the same one who I begged to keep her off the bunny hill -- so I knew there was no chance she'd get stuck on short greens all day. Later today, she was filled with marvelous instruction to me, like about turning your inside heel to go parallel. I expect that this "problem" of her not keeping up will last at most another season.

A new development since our Squaw trip: I can really ski with Julian now, mostly. Gabriel and I can still envelope-push beyond what Julian can do, but now the boys and I are all within range enough that we can keep very entertained together. The only problem skiing with Julian is logistical -- will he follow instructions? But today he seemed committed, so I made an executive last-minute decision not to put him in an afternoon lesson, and to ski with him instead.

And boy am I happy I did. I had the best afternoon skiing I think I've ever had!

Aside from the snow being unexpectedly phenomenal, I had so much fun skiing with my sons. Once I found them, that is.

The way this works is, I have to send the boys on their way while I get Katrina set up and into her lesson. Both boys are set up with a "Core Pass" now, so I don't even need to mess with buying and attaching lift tickets for them -- I pay for their lift tickets the first time their passes are scanned at a lift. No waiting on line or attaching a sticker to a metal widget. It's a great system, and lets them ski for half an hour while I get Katrina checked into lessons and get myself geared up, plus it's so easy to tell them to stick to Mt Judah and its terrain parks -- no boredom there.

Katrina had a bad morning, but the moment we were on a lift on the way to her lesson, she said with her typical insight, "I feel so much better in the day as soon as I'm on the lift, Mommy!". Oh my, little girl, me too.... Sometimes it's astounding -- chilling, even -- how much like her Grandpa Jim (my father) she is.

After checking her into her lesson, I found her brothers on Mt Judah, and then we headed over to another lift to attempt some moguls. Our Squaw trip was all about icy moguls, and we thought it might be fun to try snowy moguls for once....! It had snowed a few days ago, and while it was only a sprinkling, it made a big difference in ski conditions.

So today we tackled "Steamers," an intro-black-diamond at Sugarbowl that is easier than most "double-blues" at Squaw. And it was great! What fun!!!!!!!

I was riveted by how Julian is skiing! He loves moguls, powder, trees, anything that is not..well, routine (sound familiar?!).

He often looks like he's about to fall over, but still, he's gotten so confident and aggressive, and he's developing some serious style. He's confident in a very different way than Gabriel, who never ever seems rattled and always has a solid brute-force approach, but Julian has real potential for finesse, despite his clambering. He just went for it, and I just love that! I was so impressed -- this opens up a whole world for me with him!

We also had SO much fun practicing 360s. Julian was doing better than Gabriel at first, but he's so inclined to clown around that he never quite finished a full rotation. Gabriel had one of those "ah-hah" click moments and totally gets it now. (apologies to Facebook followers who've already seen these).

Julian works on his 360s (he did a lot better than this video shows!)

Gabriel nails it!

Mine look mild by comparison, but I'm making it around!

(A few people have asked me why this is important as a skiier, and honestly, it never occurred to me to question this....seems like a good skill to have, and it's just fun!)

Unfortunately, Katrina in a 2-hr lesson means I have to pay close attention to time. When it was getting to be within half an hour of pickup time, we made our way over back to Mt Judah. Of course, we took the interesting route...!

On the way back, Gabriel and I had so much fun on the "roller" hills of the large-feature terrain parks -- so much that we snuck in another run even though I was overdue to pick up Katrina. He tried to explain that 'centrifugal force' was causing the feeling of heaviness on the way up a steep terrain-park-feature-hill (funny I thought was just gravity, but what do I know about physics) -- but I was too busy yelling "Woo-HOOOO!" to care!

This started off as an emotionally hard day, they always have (the whole alone-ness thing on adventures) -- but the worst, toughest, baddest day can be turned around by the total fun and challenge of skiing. A wonderful, and necessary, escape from my real life!.... Honestly I can watch the videos again and again and again -- I'm just SO PROUD of my sons!!


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