25 January 2010

Ski Days 11 and 12: Training at T-line

Considering that Day 11 was weeks ago, you may commence with the "slacker" comments. :)

Day 11 was back on January 10th, and was the first day of coaching for me for ski patrol. I'd met some of the team at tryouts, but not all, so it was nice to meet the gang and get to know the patrol candidates that I'll be helping become sled-drivers. We had an interesting day, as we ended up responding to I think three cases in the morning while trying to get some "area orientation" done. Our first run after opening found us coming up on an injured snowboarder that had found some "death cookies" on the side of one of the terrain park jumps, and he broke his board. I don't remember the other two cases, but I think they were snowboarders also.

While it was good for the newbies to get exposed to a little "live fire", I would definitely have preferred to get going on turning them into better skiers. We have one guy on the team that's really a strong skier, but the rest need some work. It'll come.

What we did manage to do, however, was take almost the entire crew down the Glade trail into Govy after we'd finished up. I'd never skied the Glade before, and it was fun despite the conditions. The only thing that sucked about it was the walk from the trail's end down to the patrol building in Govy. My knee doesn't like walking downhill in ski boots on pavement.


Day 12 was yesterday. I mentally took note of the fact that I have now equaled my total days skied from last season and it's not even February yet. It was starting out to be a decent day, but cold, and we knew the weather would be coming, in the form of much-needed snow. I don't mind the pack-cover days when it means many inches of new white stuff.

We finished opening a little quicker than last time out, which was nice because it (hopefully) meant we'd get more time to work with the trainees on skiing skills and getting them into the habit of skiing with a more powerful and balance stance than they currently do. It didn't take too long before we started getting in on cases, just like last time. I think our tally was 4 this time, and it really made it tough to get the gang working on anything with any consistency.

But, it was more good experience for the new guys. This "live fire" will help them out during OEC and when the time comes for them to run through FRT, they should be pretty familiar with the process. Especially if we keep getting to respond to cases every time we go up.

The new snow provided some challenges for the weaker skiers in the group, but they pretty much all made some progress out there. I think we have one guy that we will have to spend a little extra time with, but the group on the whole is getting better. We happened across some racers training over on Wy'East, while in search of a steeper groomed pitch to do some drills on, and I kind of let myself get goaded into running the 12 or so slalom gates they'd set up. The coach was at the top practically insisting I give it a shot, since I'd mentioned I used to race.

I really have to quit doing things like that. I don't need to get the itch to race again. I can't afford slalom and GS skis, and a race suit, and all that stuff. Certainly don't want to do it as out-of-shape as I am.

But I caved, and hopped into the course. I skied it pretty respectably, I thought, and had that same shit-eating grin afterward I had when I fore-ran that slalom a couple seasons ago. I mused about how my all-mountain mid-fat skis probably aren't the best tools of the trade for slalom skiing, and off we went to go work on more stuff.

A run or two later, I saw that coach again. "Nice skiing back there", he said. "Thanks", I said. Then thought, I don't need that kind of encouragement...gonna be harder to resist finding a way back into racing...

Anyway, the rest of the day went pretty smoothly, and there was probably about 6" or so of snow that had fallen throughout the day. All that new snow was awesome out on Otto Lang, where I got to take a couple of my apprentices for sweep. The light was flat, but the snow was great, and easy to ski by braille. All that snow didn't translate into 100% fun, though. I had a pretty good chore getting it off the Sorento after I got back to the patrol building, but that was nothing compared to helping dig out one of the other coaches' car...

The knee continues to feel good while skiing, but it still gets sore afterward. I figure that's going to be the case probably all season. I really need to start bringing an ice pack for the drive home instead of waiting until I get home. Especially if the drive is going to start out just creeping down the mountain like yesterday.

7 comments:

tw said...

Thanks for keeping the blog running this season...slacker. Just kiddin'. Enjoy reading it!

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