Olivia was missing today. She’s lounging on a beach in Hawaii. There was a couple of Santa outfits and Amanda had an amazing penguin onesy. The best I could muster was an angry bird hanging on my jacket. The flashing red bike light I was going to put on my helmet would have blinded anyone following me. After a quick boot check, the “Magnificent Seven” were out the door. Finley and Soldis had new (longer) skis. My soggy gloves dried out from yesterday’s wet weather, and Ullr was kind enough to give us some blue sky.
The mountain hosts were impressed with the cheery banter from the kids marching to the gondola. No problems scanning passes this morning. I asked kids about their Christmas wish lists on the ride up. Axel and Beckett did not want Barbi dolls or pink dresses. Gales of laughter ensued when Soldis suggested a makeup kit for the boys.
Good work getting skis on by the gang. Up Red, I pointed out the notorious “Deidre Drop” to Axel and Beckett that we would be doing in the new year. I got some concerned looks… but no comments. Finley’s figuring out the longer skis, and was faster on the skate to the light board. I had him behind me chasing the angry bird on my jacket to Upper Whiskey Jack. The kids were keen to do our “slip sliding” drill. All round improvement! We then did a series of behind-and-below hockey stops to the Chick Pea. Woohoo! More terrain open, so we did some wall climbing on the left side of Lower Whiskey Jack… dropping back into the run and turning back up hill… not hitting the brick wall in the middle of the run. Nothing more than a couple of sit-down splats in the heavy, untracked snow. Excellent cat-like balance!
Back up Emerald, I picked up the pace a bit navigating to Upper Whiskey Jack and we did non-stop Big-S turns to the Chick Pea. Brooklyn took the class down Papoose and on the road to Orange Peel. Much better skating by the team! Big-S turns by the Tree Fort then we tucked to the flats above Pony Trail. I told Finley to let the skis “run, run, run”. Another new route! We skied by Goats Gully and did our first attempts skiing backwards and doing 360s on the snow in the flat area by Bear Cub. There was mixed reactions about trying jumps on the side of Bear Cub but the kids did study them.
Kids lined skis up nicely at Raven’s Nest and we were down for our 11:15 lunch in the Clubhouse today. Standard grilled cheeses and jam sandwiches washed down with today’s swamp water: cranberry juice and lemonade… and we were promptly out the door at noon.
Kids are getting very good at quickly getting skis on. I think it was in anticipation of a race to the beaver bench on Expressway. Jockeying for position at the bottom of Red, they bolted. I didn’t give them much rest at the finish… we did 20 frog hops. Maleah led the class non-stop to the mid station gondola. I watched as most looked up at merge signs. Nice! The gang gave me another impressive show of getting skis off and marching through the queue. We broke out the Swedish Fish on the ride up. I had Axel convinced that I had a stinky sardine just for him…. :)
From the Olympic rings, we navigated our way into Green Acres. There were some small moguls that all tackled with confidence. Maleah took the class most of the way down the run. I had Finley follow me and we practiced letting the skis run a bit … 1-2-3 turn, 1-2-3 turn. With a left turn onto the road back to Emerald, I introduced another new drill we’ll regularly do on roads: ski on one ski. All went by me giving it a go.
At the top of Emerald, Riddley was a little slow jumping off the chair. He dropped a whole body length… and almost landed it. All good. I had Finley keep close to me to Whiskey Jack then gave Beckett and Axel turns leading the class to the Chick Pea. Skis off, we went in for a break, some water and I read Robert Munsch’s “I have to Go”.
Back out, Soldis led the class down Banana Peel (squish, squish through turns). Without much of a prompt, some tried skiing on one ski and the rest skated with their hands behind their backs on the road to Orange Peel. We threaded our way through some other classes and tucked across the flats to Pony Trail. Wow! Much better and good hockey stops on behind-and-below. I asked if anyone was tired and Brooklyn piped up, “Lets ski fast!”. OK .. off we went past Goats Gully and regrouped at the entrance to Bear Cub. Axel was pretty aggressive on the jumps at the dog leg and collided with Riddley. No damage, but we had a chat about being aware of the skier(s) below you… they have the right of way.
On our end-of-day download, I realized Axel’s goggles had gone walkies. I told the lifties they must be near the top of the gondola and my fingers are crossed they make their way to guest relations. I didn’t have my Ski Tracks app running today, but I’m sure we did as much mileage as last week… and we were going fast enough to have my phone tell me there would be no notifications while I was driving.
All the very best to you for the holidays. I’m off to Calgary on Friday to see the family and grand kids, but will be back on the hill from the 28th helping out at snow school. Our next session is on January 7th and the theme is Back to Basics. I’d like the kids to have one pole. Don’t worry… I’ll remind you before our first Monday in the new year.