It looked like chaos, but Scotty had everything well organized for us. Class cards were ready, FLAIK barcodes list scanned, vests ready. I just had to fill in the blanks on what the kids were wearing and get lunch orders. After all introductions and paperwork done, eight plus me were out the door just after 9:00am.
I had three quick hands shoot up to ride a gondola with some “responsible adults”. At the top of the gondola, all got skis on without any assistance from me. I’m impressed. I sent Axel up the Red chair first with the responsibility of making sure the rest of the team met at the Whistler Kids Meet Here sign. There wasn’t many people at the lift and I thanked Axel for his patience waiting for us all. We skated to the light board and regrouped there. Not a lot of terrain open but it wasn’t crowded… and we had blue skies.
We headed down Upper Whiskey Jack and practiced an important “rule”: Behind-and-Below stopping. We did this a few times and those who messed up had to hike back up and go behind me. At a stop on the steeper part just below Roundhouse Roll I had 1-3-5&7 walk towards me to form two lines. We practiced side slipping for about 50 meters, turned around and repeated the exercise. Amanda was doing the same drill with her group on the other side of the hill. Next exercise: “Big-S” turns. I got a giggle watching Beckett’s head swivel visualizing his turns as I drew in the snow! Working at finishing the turns with skis parallel, we made a hard left at the Chickpea skiing Papoose to the Pony Trail. On the road, I had the kids skate with their hands behind their backs. We snaked our way down Orange Peel by the Tree Fort. Pretty good tucks across the flats to Pony Trail. We skied the right side of Pony Trail making sure we didn’t hit the imaginary brick wall down the middle of the run. Axel and Beckett had a couple of splats running into each other. Sheesh! I helped Peyton from Amanda’s class re-assemble herself as she came right out of her boot. We navigated our way to the ski racks at Raven’s nest. Not bad getting skis off, putting them together and handing everything to me to put on the rack. Thanks to Annika and her team of support staff getting groups down for our 11:15 lunch reservation in the “Minions” building.
Fed and watered, we were out the door after our allotted 45 minutes. More people this time and we were much quicker getting up Red.
Back on Whiskey Jack I gave Riddley the task of leading the class to a safe spot by the slow sign below Roundhouse Roll. I skied as the caboose watching turns and how everybody stopped. Good job! We did another set of side slipping drills… getting better! A right turn this time at the Chickpea we skated across the flats to Ego Bowl. Huh… kids had their hands behind their backs without any prompts from me. We did a non-stop run of Big-S turns to Emerald… no complaints! Back at the lightboard I broke out the “Stinger” gummies feeding the 8 open mouths.
We repeated the same route we did this morning to get to Raven’s Nest. Beckett and Soldis took turns leading the group. Brooklyn and Olivia were a little hesitant when I first asked, but all are now keen to take the lead… Nice! Soldis schooled the boys skating to Orange Peel. :) There were some moguls building on Pony Trail and the kids were pretty confident going through them.
We were a little early for our end-of-day download at Raven’s Nest, so I planted my poles about 20 meters apart on the road and had the kids do laps on one ski around the course. Maleah was the one to beat. Although there was two downloads, Amanda’s Ski Tracks phone app said we did 3000 meters of vertical. Not bad for our first day!
Next week’s theme is “Safety and Goal Setting”. I’m looking forward to hearing what your children wish to accomplish this season. My goal is pretty simple… Don’t get hurt!