Natalee came to visit for the weekend so it was time for my annual trip where I strap on the skis and go down the mountain. I have said this before but I like to ski but the barrier seems to be high enough where its hard to draw me out of the house to do it anymore. Lots of gear. Long lift lines. Expensive lift tickets ($96 a day!). Pay to park. Pay for food. Cold. Blah blah. I feel like going for a snowy mountain run is so much easier and more enjoyable. But I digress.
However, having kids changes the dynamic a bit. It makes things tougher! Now, you have two people to get ready to go. The good news is that when they are having fun, its even more fun for you. But when they are not having fun, things suck. Sydney has skied a few times now over the past 2 years. I was a bit excited to see how she would do today. At the end of last season, I could point her downhill and she could blast down and then snowplow to a stop. That was progress.
We left our cabin and were at Copper Mountain in about 25 minutes. That was nice. We had to rent for her since her old ski boots were too small. Then by the time we got everyone a bathroom break and walked to the lifts, we were all getting tired. But we got right up the lift with no big trouble. Unfortunately, I didn’t do a good map check and headed down a blue run with Sydney next to me. She was holding on my poles as we used to do and things were not going well. After a series of falls and steep downhills, she wanted to walk down and go home. Failure. Dad failed. But I kept her working and we got down and I promised more diligent map reading and greens from here on out.
Somewhere on the next green hill, skiing just clicked for her. She was off my poles and turning from side to side down the hill without any worry for my location. She started moving through traffic without problems. She was on fire! Who is that kid? At the bottom, she was ready to go again. So we ran more greens until lunch time. I was so proud! It made all that struggle so worth it. Then Sydney proclaimed that she wanted to return to that blue from earlier and ski it herself.
And she did! It was a nearly perfect day for her once we got past that first bad experience. Except for when she almost died — huh? We were getting on a 3 seat chair lift. Natalee and I on the outsides and Sydney in the middle. We had a bit of confusion as we sat on the chair and it threw me off my usual sequence of getting myself on and then super double checking on Sydney. We literally lifted up and started out over the “drop zone” of fresh powder that is roped off and Sydney just flew off the chair. She landed about 5′ below in the powder. We yelled “help, help!” and they stopped the lift. She was OK. You couldn’t have done a safer fall. They put her on a chair behind us and we went up the mountain. I was nervous she was back there crying but she was not. She thought it was kind of crazy and fun.
That night, Sydney convinced Reagan that she needed to ski too. I can only teach one at a time so Reagan never got to play before. Now that Sydney was on her own, I can start working on Reagan. I knew it would be a challenge so we headed over to the smaller Cooper Mountain from the cabin. Took all of 12 minutes to get there. Score! We parked right up front, got right on the lift, and started down. Sydney and Natalee took off and left Reagan and I to ski together for the day. Lots of leg work keeping her inside my legs all day.
Had a great time out there and it made skiing a lot more enjoyable having the kids doing their thing too. Natalee got to get in 2 ski days and spend some quality time with Sydney. Natalee carried the camera and got us these pictures. Reagan wouldn’t let me get far enough away from her to take a photo myself.
I may have created a monster or two. There may be more ski days ahead in 2011.