By the weekend after Christmas, there still wasn’t any snow in the woods, so we went lift serve skiing. The ski areas had blown lots of snow in December, but then Christmas eve it poured and warmed up melting everything. Ragged offered their early season ticket rates because conditions were so bad. Our three goals for the day were to get Isaac having fun on skis, ski some ourselves, and meet up with a coworker of Tyson’s, Marco, and his family.
The standard advice for kids is to not use poles. Isaac loves poles for everything. We figured the only way to avoid a temper tantrum from not giving him poles was to hide the poles and not let the adults use any either. We started out on the little bunny slope with the magic carpet and all the adults giving different instructions — Mom, Dad, Grandma, and Grandpa. This was not working, so we let my parents go ski the mountain without poles. Tyson worked with Isaac, and I took pictures. I would have helped more, but every time I came over, I was greeted with “No Mom.” Isaac started out unwilling to slide on the skis. So he shuffle-ran trying to keep up with Tyson sliding. Eventually he figured out how to slide, but he was very nervous about it and wouldn’t stand without Tyson holding him. Then we decided to try the chair lift and the longer green hill to see if that made things better or worse. Isaac loved the chair lift. From then on, the incentive to ski down the hill was the next chair ride up. I think we made three runs with Isaac slowly understanding what we were trying to do. Then we ran into Marco’s wife Betsy, my parents, and called it lunch time.
After lunch Isaac rested with me in front of the fire while everyone else went out skiing. Tyson even snuck two pairs of poles out from the car. Eventually I traded off with my parents and I got to go ski with Tyson, Marco, and family. These days, whenever I ski lift serve, I am constantly evaluating and trying to improve my technique. I would love to get better. But I am good enough relative to my internal metrics that I can ski and have fun while trying to tweak technique. After a bunch of fun runs down the three or so open trails, we went looking for my parents and Isaac in the green area. We found Isaac exhausted, lying happily in the snow. My parents had bought him a harness and even got him to slide on his own briefly.
Tyson declared himself done for the day and picked Isaac up on his shoulders to go inside. I headed up the big lift with my parents to coach them on telemark technique. They had the two pairs of poles, so I instructed with no poles. About a third of the way down the hill, who should we see skiing towards us but Tyson with Isaac on his shoulders. Apparently Isaac watched us ride the big chair lift and declared he had to also. Unfortunately, sitting on Tyson’s shoulders did not keep Isaac warm for the whole ride down. My parents and I skied two runs. I managed to significantly improve Mom’s edge release, and I completely confused Dad.