Canada North America Travels

Learning to ski in Whistler

Lola:

This was only my second time ever skiing, so I was not a very good skier at the beginning. I went to ski school and was put into level 3 with one boy and a few girls. I made friends with a girl called Lila. We had lots of fun in ski school; our teacher was called Felix. He was a great teacher but always to forgot to give us biscuits and hot chocolate. (Or so he said. I thought he was just being a bit lazy*). The run levels on Whistler are different than in Europe because they don’t have reds. It goes nursery, green, blue then black – so the greens in Whistler are equivalent to blues and the blues in Whistler are equivalent to reds. We mostly stuck to greens and blues because some of the people in my group were different levels to the others.

I loved skiing on the weekends without a teacher because you can go wherever you want and if you make a mistake – take a wrong turn, fall over etc – it doesn’t matter. On the first weekend we skied with my Aunty Glynis and Pete, as they had just arrived. It was really nice seeing and skiing with them after a long time away.

On my second week I had a different instructor (Sawyer) but still the same boy (John) and a girl (Grace) from week one. I was talking to and partners with Grace the whole time as we were the only girls. Sawyer, unlike Felix, gave us lots of juice, hot chocolate and biscuits but didn’t teach us very much**. She would tell us to do something but not tell us how, so we didn’t learn as much as we did with Felix .

On our final 4 days we skied with our friends Martin, Julie, Steve and Chloe (who is with us in the photo above), which was really fun. Unlike with the teacher, Chloe and I could go down some harder runs (blues and blacks) on both mountains, not just Whistler. One day we went up Blackcomb’s chair lift – 7th heaven, which goes to the very top.  Martin ended up leading us down a really icy, moguly run – we didn’t enjoy it.***

On my one day off we went to the tubing park. Only two lanes were open but it was still really fun to do. We went down really fast in these plastic inner tubes; the only downside is when you sit down you get very wet.

On our final day of skiing it was really foggy and we were in a blizzard! The snow was prickling our faces but we still carried on. My goggles would fog up every 30 seconds so I had to keep wiping them. Also Martin and Dad (mostly Martin) kept disappearing in the trees so we couldn’t find them. Coming down one of our last runs it was quite bumpy and I couldn’t see anything so I skied into a small dip and had a massive wipeout bumping my head. We all had some small wipeouts because of the poor visibility.

I really enjoyed these few weeks skiing. I love skiing in general and hope we can go again as a holiday after this trip.

Betsy:

My skiing experience was great. My instructor was good and the friends in my group were amazing. I reached level 4, so I’m doing parallel on blues and I’ve perfected my hockey stops on both sides.

On my first day skiing, I made really good friends with two girls named Lizzie and Vicky.  I was a bit upset at the end of the day because they were better than me and so I thought they would be moved into a different group (they had skated for a while back at home).  Luckily this didn’t happen as I caught up the next day and the three of us skied together all week with our teacher Jonny.  At the end of the week I had to say goodbye to them as I was in Whistler Kids (the company that taught me how to ski) for two weeks and they were only in for one.

I had a bit of a weird habit when I was skiing.  I would make up a play script in my head and talk to myself as I was skiing down. I think this was a distraction from all the stress of trying to get my perfect parallel.  Every day at lunch we would ski back to the CLC (I thought this stood for Children’s Lunch Centre but Lola says it is Children’s Learning Centre) where we had amazing food. For the first couple of days I had mac and cheese but one day my friend was having the chicken noodle soup which I tasted and it was delicious, so I started having that. It also goes great with the grilled cheese they did.****

My last day of skiing was a bit of a mixture.  In the morning the blizzard at the top was terrible and the snow was hitting us in the face.  It felt like people sticking hundreds of needles in your face and it really hurt.  Our friend Chloe didn’t even have a neck warmer to cover up her face.  I didn’t like it.  Later though, I got up the courage to go down my first black run with Daddy, Lola, Chloe and Steve.  It was not as hard as I thought it would be and we were only on it for a little while, as the rest of it was closed, so we turned back onto a green.

I had a great time in Whistler and it was a great place to learn to ski. I can’t really believe how quickly I’ve learned.  I think going from zero to a black run in 16 days is quite good.

Willow:

Monday Dec 4th was the first day of my life I ever put skis on. I was in Whistler Kids with a teacher called Geoff and three other children called Hope, Geoffrey and Sydney.  That day, I learned how to put my skis on and I was really good at it*****. When I first got on the snow  we just put one ski on and skied around a little hill. Then we put two skis on and did the same. I went straight up to the magic carpet after that and learned to ski down the hill. I spent two days doing that and then we got to go on the chair lift and ski down the Olympic run. It was pretty steep and I fell over quite a bit. I was really good at turning but stronger pushing on my left leg when we turn right. The day I was on the Olympic run I  started working on my left turn and got better. At the end of the week we were going up the mountain and skiing all the way down really easily.

On the Friday night my whole group went out for tea and we took the teachers too. It was really fun and the menus were a mini map of the whole restaurant. I had spaghetti with meatballs. At the end of the night I didn’t want my teacher Geoff to go but he told me he would see me the next week – and he did!

At the weekend I skied with my sisters, mummy, daddy, aunty Glynis and Pete. Everyone said I was really good but a teeny bit too fast*****. I wasn’t doing any turns – just heading the hill and I kept going over all the bumps for fun. Daddy and Aunty Glynis told me I had to slow down.

On the second week of ski school I learned how to do parallel turns and if you don’t know what they are I’ll tell you. When you first learn to ski you do pizza turns. This means you make a pizza with your skis with your toes pointing in. When you’re not turning and you want to go straight, you do chips. When you get a bit better you do turns in chips and that’s what parallel is. I went down some tricky blue runs which were quite difficult and I went down all of the greens.

In the last few days we didn’t go to ski school and just skied with our friends. One time I followed Daddy’s friend Martin into the trees but he is a snowboarder so he can go on really powdery stuff.  I went into the powder and my skis got stuck so I face planted and Daddy had to pull me up.******

I loved everything about skiing apart from walking to ski school in my boots and carrying my skis to the gondola. I also quite liked going to The Irish Pub with aunty Glynis and Pete and eating really nice food.

 

* Apologies Felix if you ever read this. I’m sure Lola didn’t really think you were lazy, she just REALLY LIKES hot chocolate.

** Apologies Sawyer if you ever read this. I’m sure you taught Lola loads, she’s just a bit…keen.

*** Someone forgot Julie’s number 1 rule about skiing – Never follow Martin!

**** Betsy continues to focus mostly on friendships and food but luckily picked up a bit of skiing along the way.

***** Confidence on the mountains was not something we had to worry about with Willow

******Willow is (surprise, surprise) a speed demon and scared the living daylights out of all who skied with her.  Luckily by the end of our time at Whistler she was doing a few more turns, particularly when she was leading the way for her depressingly slow mum.

****** See point *** above

And finally; sorry for using the same photos from my last post.  I was rarely on the same part of the mountain as the girls and even when they felt sorry for me and joined me for one run down on the ‘easy slopes’, I was concentrating so blooming hard that taking photos was the last thing I was thinking of!

 

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