Sunday, February 24, 2013

2/23/13: Ski Week day 3: Diamond Girl!

Today was the day Katrina was all excited about: "You PROMISED me to do Steamers today, RIGHT?!"

Her brothers were discouraging though. "You can't handle moguls." "It's too steep for you." "You need to be more experienced." But Katrina was determined. "We'll warm up on 'Donner's Way,'" she declared (the intro-black-diamond she toasted yesterday) -- and then, Steamers."

Honestly, Steamers isn't all that hard -- Sugarbowl's intro-black-diamonds are mercifully short -- but it's no beginner terrain, and in bad conditions, it can suck.

Incredibly, we had a little dusting of snow last night! But more incredibly, it didn't to much to improve snow conditions. In fact, I thought today was icier than yesterday, despite the smattering of new snow.

Katrina went to a lesson this morning first, which the boys and I ran into. The first half-hour of group lessons is spent doing triage and separating kids, and boy, this one was packed. I was intrigued to see that for "Level 3" kids, Katrina was well at the top end of skill, even though she looks so much smaller than most.

But I'm really happy to see that she runs no risk of being on the Magic Carpet all day now.

Still, it's best for the lesson if the parent-paparazzi goes away, so the boys and I went back to Disney for a repeat of our fun the day before. I was out-of-sorts and so didn't feel any great need to try anything new, and the boys were quite happy to stick to the run "Donald Duck" and run-offs from there.

Gabriel is skiing so well now that I felt compelled to take video of him.

Julian of course headed to the trees and insisted of some more video of him blasting through the powder, with varying success.

I won no points for style today, but I'm glad that I can sorta-breeze down the easier groomed blacks at Sugarbowl now, at least in today's conditions.

I have a new system for lunch now: bringing our own, and stashing it in a knapsack in the lodge. I'm not the only one with this idea -- the fireplace is piled with lunch-knapsacks!

I really like this method -- having sandwiches and granola bars for the kids not only saves me tons of money, but it saves me a ton of time waiting on line for overpriced crummy food, and best of all, it saves me the drudgery of waitressing in ski boots. And the kids don't mind at all, especially if I bring some leftover dessert from last night!

After lunch, time to fulfill my promise to Katrina: Steamers! For some reason, she was determined to do this mogul-y black-diamond off Jerome -- an intro-black to be sure, but not the easiest. She came up with the plan to "warm up" on Donner's Way first today, where again I was so impressed -- look at these almost-parallel turns! She breezed her way down Donner's Way smiling and chatting, like it was nothing (with protective oldest brother in hot pursuit)

(Note that I called "Bomb It!" right at the end -- this is our new game of "Bomb Attack," in which someone calls "Bomb It!" and we all have to race to the end. Not clear what the rules of this game are exactly....!)

Next run: Steamers! Right next to Donner's way. This run is short, but mogul-y and uneven, and I was nervous about Katrina being able to take it, but she was absolutely insistent. To think, two days ago I was stunned and thrilled when Julian did it, and now I was telling him, "eh, whatever, just meet us at the bottom, I'm watching Katrina!"

And she toasted it. No fear, barely any hesitation, just a few times that she stopped and looked ahead, and then just did it. She did GREAT!! Honestly, she was more confident and consistent than Julian was the first day we did this so many times. I was floored! Nooo problem!

I just don't know how much pride I have left, with both my younger two children tackling a non-trivial black-diamond mogul run with relative ease -- and their oldest brother practically yawning at it! My goodness, Katrina's sure come far from being stuck on the Magic Carpet all day.

They're all skiing so so SO well -- it won't be long at all before I'll have no one to ski with myself. Katrina declared yesterday that when she's a grownup, she'd be an Expert, and I told her with total honesty, "You'll be that well before you're a grownup!" Really, she's just 6, and had no trouble at all with an ungroomed mogul-y black-diamond today. Wow!

We were planning a second run down Steamers, but Katrina took a nasty fall on the easy ridge run on the way. It happens; you get a lot of speed, catch an edge, boom. I arrived after the fact, and found her holding back tears as she was trying to reach for her skis and poles, and complained of her hand and head hurting. I did a quick triage, and she seemed OK physically, but she was upset -- and done. "Is this like what happened to Kate?" she asked through tears, about our friend who was far more seriously injured a few weeks ago. "No, you're fine, sweetie girl," I assured her. But I knew enough not to push a freaked-out kid. She is just 6 years old, after all. She's no complainer -- if she says she's done, she means it. So I told the boys to take one more run, then to meet us at the Den where we could all de-ski-gear ourselves and load the car.

She had smacked her head hard, even leaving a small blood spot in her helmet. I think the helmet helped more than hurt....? But it must have been a nasty fall. Another reminder of how easy it is for a day to turn around from total fun to (potentially) total disaster.

In theory, the boys can load the skis now. In practice, it still takes a lot of reminding and nagging and yes, yelling, to get them to actually do it, but at least they know how.

We headed home a little early, but overall, got in a full day. Totally worth it!

All the houses I've rented have their pros and cons, but I can't say this one is my favorite. It's a little far, it's clutter and cramped, and filled with foofy-smelling things, a ton of candles but very poor lighting overall. Still, all places have their plusses, and I loved my view from my bed in this one. Few things I like better in life than waking up to this view.

It seems just as we get things down to a science, it's time to go. Thank you, Ski Week! Another great experience and memory. I'm proud to say I think I've instilled a permanent love of snow and mountains in my children -- and if this ever matters to them in the future, they all have a good solid foundation in skiing!


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