Sunday, February 25, 2018

Big White: skiing!

Now that we were finally all up at Big White, it was time to ski! Last year, after refusing yet again to try ski lessons, Soren committed to trying this year. And, indeed, he was positively excited about it. Here he is, all geared up.

We signed him up for an afternoon lesson, given that he and I didn't get in until past midnight. But we finished at the rental shop well before it was time for his lesson, so I showed him how to clip into his skis, and gave him a few pointers—a curious choice, given that I hadn't gone downhill skiing in eleven or twelve years!

Finally, after a quick lunch, it was time for his first lesson. Sigrid and I went down the gondola to spy on him.

One ski...

...two skis...

...and then we stopped helicoptering. But the resort uses a GPS tracking system that lets you see what your kid did on his lesson. Here's Soren's first lesson. The big straight green line on the bottom 3/4 of this pic is the magic carpet. You can see that he took four "runs" down—three on the left, and one on the right. He had a great time!

And, after a second lesson on Wednesday morning, Soren proudly reported that he had graduated to being a Snow Ranger!

I, meanwhile, was up (mostly) on downhill skis for the first time since 2006 or 2007. I was pleased to learn that I was just as good a skier as I was before. Also, unsurprisingly, just as poor a skier as before. But Big White has green runs everywhere, and I enjoyed taking the lift up to see these snow ghosts and the magnificent view.

Sigrid and I had a great time skiing with the Chandras.

We had lunch at Snowshoe Sam's Pub (sadly, the beer special that day was PBR—we chose otherwise).

After lunch, we skied out the village and down to a lift. Here's Soren, with me running behind him with a camera.

And then the Kwundersons went on our first lift together (along with the Chandras).

We took Thursday off from skiing, and then skied on Friday and Saturday. Saturday was a full day of skiing for everyone. On Friday, Kelsey Serwa won gold for Canada in the women's ski cross. Big White is her home resort, and there's a green run named after her grandfather, who co-founded the resort. When we got up the mountain on Saturday, we found that several of the signs for Serwa's run were now honouring Kelsey Serwa.

Sigrid and I skied together without the Chandras for the first time, to give them a chance to explore some more interesting runs. We discovered that on Saturday Ogo Slow was too slow even for us, whether because the fresh powder lowered the speed, or because we had improved a bit. Plus, down at the bottom of Ogo Slow, we found ourselves at Gem Lake Express, which is the lift right next to the parking lot used by locals with season passes. Traffic!

Here we are up at the top of Falcon lift.

A while later, Sigrid convinced me to try some blue runs. It started off very poorly (for me), but we actually both did ok on Perfection (still blue!), so I consider it a success. For our last lunch on the slopes, I proposed checking out the Blarney Stone Irish Tavern, which we passed by every time we took the Plaza lift. Sigrid was a bit surprised by the size of her beer. Our waitress explained, "we serve real pints here," meaning 19.215 oz imperial pints.

The big boys ate lunch with their ski instructor, but the younger siblings came with us and had Shirley Temples.

After lunch, Soren said he was done. After everyone else went off for more skiing, I convinced Soren to take a pass down the short Hummingbird run, and he perked up. We ended up going down Hummingbird four or five times.

Sigrid, meanwhile, tried some more blues with the Chandras. Looking good!

All told, we got some skiing in on four days—five days for Anders. We had clear days, snowy days, and some lovely powder. Fantastic!

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