This winter, I was invited to go for a ski trip with my uni friends and her family. I had never skied before and never thought about trying it at all, but it sounded fun and i always loved to learn new things. Plus, the cost for the trip was really cheap, just 325USD for 4 days. Please note that we cut lots of corners to get such a price and even i don’t know how her parents managed to do so. But anyway, i digress.
We skied at ski cooper located in leadville, colorado. We had lots of snow, at least 4 inches of fresh snow each day which was a good and bad thing. The temperature was cold, -25 degrees C. I really don’t know how we survived the weather and managed to ski in it too, but my only advice was to layer up!
As a first time skier, i just observed what others were doing and listened carefully to the tips my friend gave. I’m proud to say that i picked it up at my second try. What i noticed was that the ski’s were a lot like ice skates, and i used the techniques from ice skating and applied it to skiing, apparently it worked because by the last day i got to do a black (the level of difficulty goes from green, to blue, to black). Also, the pizza shape (using your ski’s to make a front triangular shape) is the secret to slowing yourself down. This was personally tricky because i had this impression that it would help you stop immediately, which it didn’t. It used simple logic, if your ski’s are facing the bottom and straight then you’ll have the highest amount of gravitational pull, but if you’re skiing sideways and your ski’s aren’t vertical then you create friction and reduced the gravitational pull. After awhile i learnt how to put pressure on whichever side i wanted to turn towards, allowing myself to make left and right turns, effectively slowing myself down too and not wiping out (crashing). I have to say, I know some people like to go fast but i like to take it slow and easy, enjoying the scenery and mapping out my path down the hill. People don’t tell you this, but in order not to wipe out all the time, you’ve got to map out your path down the hill, consider all the bumps and natural curves of the hill and taking into account your skill level or ability to control your movement. I was a beginner so i knew i had to do lots of tight bends to slow myself down and make sure i don’t hurt myself. I knew i didn’t know how to control fast speeds (nor did i want to) so this was the strategy i took. I took some time to come down the hill but i did it in the way i was comfortable with. Also, some people were complaining that it was too powdery, but i liked it, and used it to my advantage to slow myself down. It’s probably not the best for snowboarders thought. Here’s my piece of advice, do what you’re comfortable with, don’t be pressured into doing something that you know is way out of your comfort zone, ex. going super fast when you’ve just started or doing a black on your first day. Also, remember, skiing is a sport, so accidents happen, it’s also you against the elements, it’s not an x-box game where you can reset everything or wipe out and not feel a thing. You will fall, you may hurt yourself, so remember that, but don’t let that bring fear to you because fear will act as a barrier to learning. Finally, unlike other sports, you can ski for hours and not notice at all, so remember to rest, hydrate and know your limits.
These are just a few pictures i managed to take. The final day was beautiful but super cold. There was some sun, but thankfully no wind and snow like we had the past two days. The first two days we saw lots of wind and snow which was one of the reasons i crashed so much because it got into my eyes and i didn’t have googles (dumb!). It also made visibility limited and you had to go slower so that you didn’t accidentally crash into someone. On that note, buy good googles if you’re planning to get into skiing or snowboarding, it’s worth it, there are the anti-fog googles that my friend had and i wish i had them because my googles fogged up as i went down a black! Talk about bad timing. There are also googles with lenses meant for certain conditions like snowy/sunny, etc or the all purpose ones which are more expensive. So whatever is in your budget, skill level, just make sure to do your research before you buy anything. Also, ski boots, i rented some, and oh my, they bit into my skin and on my bone, it was so painful, but so fun to ski at the same time that i just tried to ignore the pain. I must be crazy, but it was worth it.
I love skiing, it’s grown onto me. Wished i had my own boots though, i think that would help, and there’s so much more to learn, i used the powder to my advantage but i’ve got to learn how to ski on icy grounds. I’ve been watching the winter olympic clips and i think i’m on the brink of obsession. Whether or not i’ll get another change to ski again is uncertain, but i’ll definitely want to do so again.