A Family Adventure


Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

Crotched Mountain Fun

February 28, 2016
Emilie Phillips updated March 3, 2016

Sunday Isaac and I skied at Crotched. I invited some friends of mine, Hiten and Stacey and their two kids about Isaac’s age. I didn’t get to hang out with Hiten and Stacey as much as I hoped. The logistics of three young kids and two newbie adults broke up the day.

They signed their kids up for a lesson for their first time ever skiing. Isaac really wanted to hang out with the other kids, so I signed him up for the lesson too even though he didn’t need it. For the adults, the intro lesson package was only a little more expensive than rentals and lift ticket. So Hiten and Stacey took that. So I found myself with an hour to ski by myself, and no poles.

Emilie out on her own.

Emilie out on her own.

I headed over to the high speed quad to the summit. For warm up, I skied a blue run. Even on the blue run, I discovered my technique was rusty. I breezed through the singles lift line. I was designated to pick up the kids, so I kept close tabs on the time. Average run — 10 minutes. But back to my form. I descended a few more blue runs and then worked on the blacks. I had no troubles descending the trails, but I wasn’t getting the smooth turns I wanted. I was skidding out the bottom of the turns. I wasn’t getting snappy edge transitions or quick linked turns. My legs tired quickly too, but that could just be from the pace I kept up. About 30 minutes in, I identified my problem; I was too far back, and as a consequence, I wasn’t in a position to retract between turns. So for the second half hour, I tried to move forward and focus on shin-tongue pressure and proper extension and retraction. I improved a little bit, but not as much as I wanted.

The kids just finishing their lesson

The kids just finishing their lesson

I picked Sunday for skiing because the weather forecast said it would be nice and warm. Highs in the mid 40F’s to 50F. By the time I finished skiing, I had stripped off both jackets. The icy patches from the morning had softened. Later in the day they turned to slushy puddles. On the downside, the snow cover was thin. It looked like spring skiing should in early April.

I arrived back at the magic carpet just as the kids were finishing their lesson. I knew Isaac would be hungry, so I took them all inside and we got lunch. The kids helped out a bunch. Maybe Isaac is that self-sufficient when I am not around. Or maybe I just have to wait another year.

A brief moment with everyone at lunch.

A brief moment with everyone at lunch.

After lunch is when the logistics fell apart. Isaac really wanted to ride the lift and ski something longer. Stacey and Hiten traded off which one of them watched the kids on the magic carpet slope. And then their youngest hit nap time and needed to go home. So unfortunately we parted without having skied together much.

Isaac and I rode the lift and skied down our usual, “Super Nova.” I was pretty sure he was ready to tackle a blue run. He was sure blues were “really hard.” Rather than argue with him about his skill level, I told him we were taking a different trail to another lift. The top section was blue, but most of the trail was green. We invented a new game. We started on opposite sides of the trail. On every (or most) turns, we crossed in front of each other and swapped sides of the trail. His reaction was very similar to peekaboo or hide and seek. A couple times he paused on steeper sections looking nervously at the drop, but then we started up the game again and he was happy. Two thirds of the way down the blue, I told him he was skiing a blue. He seemed quite happy and relieved to learn he was mastering a trail he had considered impossible. His mantra for the rest of the day was “blues aren’t that hard.”

20160228-141715-032-Crotched

We caught the high speed quad to the top. Isaac loved the speed. I’d forgotten his harness, so I had to hold him all the way up, and I tripped him getting off the chair at the top. I directed us towards the long green from the top. Several people on sit skis passed us and headed down a blue. Isaac was curious and followed them. He had lots of fun on that blue and would happily have headed into the terrain park at the bottom. We rode the quad up again and I took us down another blue, Meteor which I knew had good snow coverage.

Ski bum in training

Ski bum in training

After that, I called it a day. Three blue runs after lunch seemed like a good accomplishment. I wanted to end on a positive note rather than waiting for Isaac to get tired and cranky. We will see how much more skiing we do this year. It felt like the end of the season.

Isaac’s skiing. Emilie did all the blacks and blues near the rocket lift.

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