To head right to the pictures from the day, go to:
Our friends Tracy and Mike had spent the night after skiing on Saturday, but decided that the one day of skiing was enough for their first trip of the season. We then had a leisurely morning at the house, enjoyed a big breakfast, and around mid morning, Tracy and Mike headed home to
The big additions for Ty on this outing were his poles. From what I’ve seen, the decision to add poles to a child’s ski ensemble seems quite arbitrary, and it’s hard to really know when it’s time. Ty has been asking about poles essentially since he’s been able to talk, and actually knows how to use them (at least to the degree that E and I know how to use them). Ty has been playing around with our poles for a long time, even though they’re too long for him, he’ll choke up on them to use them. Finally this fall, we got him some correctly-sized poles of his own (both downhill and cross country) at the ski swaps. He loves to get out on dry land with his poles. He plants them and turns around them as he runs all over the yard, and up and down the driveway, and he actually looks pretty fluid in the process. So I have no idea what the real rules to pole use are for kids learning to ski, but he seemed ready enough to give it a shot.
We got up to the mountain to find a temperature of around 20 F, and although it started out looking like it was going to be sunny, clouds quickly moved in and it even snowed a bit. We started off with a couple runs off the Snowflake lift. As we’d seen the previous day, they were blowing a ton of snow on the terrain park with both the more traditional and fan-style snow guns to get the area into shape. I’m guessing temperatures and humidity had been good for making snow, because they had quite a bounty of snow and they were even shutting down the guns while we were there. Although the fan guns aren’t very loud, having them shut off the regular guns was nice for both riding the lift and skiing in the area around the terrain park, since the result was a much quieter scene. The Foxy and Bentley trails weren’t quite as fun as the previous day, because they had groomed them and removed the fluffy inch or two of powder that had been there. But, there were still areas that hadn’t been groomed at all, such as the skier’s left of Snowflake Bentley.
It was interesting to observe Ty’s pole use in this area. He did a pretty good job of planting his poles and generally turning around them on the more groomed slopes, but his concentration seemed to go out the window when he got into the chowder. He at least held the poles in front of him or off to the sides, but when he stopped concentrating on them because of the more difficult snow, they’d just be out there in the air. He obviously still needs work to get his pole planting to become instinctive under all conditions, but it looks like he’ll get there. At this point my plan isn’t to have him bring his poles out every day, but focus on letting him work with them on our smaller outings. The beauty of Ty having his poles with him however is that he can push himself along through any flat or slightly uphill areas that we encounter. He certainly seems to be enjoying that aspect of pole use very much, and although his pace on the flats is still slow compared to mine, it’s nice to let him propel himself instead of always needing assistance. On the lift, having his poles with us has added another layer to the whole loading and unloading process. I still need to hold Ty when we’re loading, so I go with all four poles in one hand, and him in the other. My hand is pretty full with all the poles, so I don’t have a lot of extra finger use to grab the chair lift poles in case I need balance, but it has worked so far. I’ve taught Ty the usual process of sitting on his poles during the lift ride so he doesn’t have to worry about them, and then he hands them back to me before we unload. Ty is very eager to unload from the chair lift by himself, and although I was skeptical at first, he’s accomplished that task with no problem in the case of the Snowflake Lift. He can’t unload unaided yet on other, faster chairs with higher seats and steep unloading areas, but at least on Snowflake he can now relieve me of one hand during the unloading process. With the four poles in my other hand, that’s helpful.
After a couple of runs in the Snowflake area, we headed to the Vista Quad. Ty was interested in checking out the
Having enjoyed the
A few pictures from the day can be found at:
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - SkiVt-L is brought to you by the University of Vermont.
To unsubscribe, visit http://list.uvm.edu/archives/skivt-l.html