As the sun breaks through and seems to want to really say that Spring has broken out, I decided that this was the time to take two of my daughters for a ski trip. It has been too many years since I last skied. Six years living in the tropics limits the options–does not eliminate them–but giving up sun for snow and ice is less enticing. Of course, I had done no physical preparation and I expected more than a few tremors once I started a run down a slope. But, the main objective was to give my first grader her first taste of skiing. I would have loved for her to have the chance I had as an adult of spending a week in the Swiss Alps as the basis of my skiing education. I would have loved her to be able to spend time with my friends in Oslo, Norway, and have the chance to go to a resort like Lillehammer. The skiing is part of it, but living life in the mountains in the winter is very special. But, we did not have that chance this year. We could have taken a trip to Colorado for Spring break, but other plans exist. So, we went on to ski-light at Liberty Mountain Resort in Pennsylvania, just an hour’s drive away.
My first-born daughter told me that she had skied for about a decade. So, two rusty possible teachers took the youngest one in tow. The bunny slopes should be doable by most first timers, but there’s a lot to fathom about controlled sliding–as skiing was once described to me by a Japanese friend, who was as great skier, with whom I used to ski. Thankfully, the first grader is quite athletic and well-balanced, and after a little problem with loose bindings, we were on the chair lift and doing a series of runs.
We had a few little mishaps, such as when Miss Lady decided to play around when leaving the ski lift and nearly got caught having to go back to the bottom of the hill. I scooped her up and dragged her off, just before the turn around. Of course, we had a few tangled ski episodes. But, by the end of the day, she’d got it and was skiing down on her own, making turns, and stopping without crashing into a soul. We’d gone through the day without many falls, and though she wanted to use poles, was convinced that beginners have no need for them.
The little one slept all of the way home–not her usual gig during the day. Our bodies ache and I am sure we will sleep well. Next season, we can aim to do a good week or so at a real ski resort.
A friend commented on a photo I circulated of my first grader and me on the snow slopes this afternoon. “[She] ‘s done this before… She looks very comfortable.” I take that as a mark of a job well done by a parent and a sibling.